In 2019 Take-Two Interactive began taking a heavy-handed approach to cracking down on mod support for their PC titles. Among those targeted was Red Dead Redemption Damned Enhancement, a mod that sought to upgrade the original title on emulators, but would still require you to own the original game. Ever since, rumors have cropped up from time to time, claiming Rockstar was developing their own upgrade and didn’t want to complete with the emulator version.
Until recently, there have been interesting and probable rumors of an official remake in development, but none with any verification or specifics aside from the project is happening. That might have changed if a recent job review, job description update, and leak are accurate.
In a glass door review, a self-proclaimed Rockstar Employee working at Rockstar India revealed they were not just pleased with their time at the company, but are currently working on a remake of the original Red Dead Redemption for the next generation and PC.
@VideoTech_ @SWEGTA @RedDeadRDC I don’t think it holds too much merit, but a Glassdoor Review about RDR Remake just popped up. Though reminder to be very cautious as I believe Glassdoor doesn’t make any substantial checks. But this Review at least has correct spelling pic.twitter.com/deqMSESkD0
— Vermouth (@Aiden10319916) June 20, 2020
“Currently Working on RDR1 Remake!”
As Glassdoor allows anyone to post on the site, it is not definitive whether this information is valid. A troll with time to burn could have created this review in a couple of hours. That much is worth noting, but around the same time, this review is posted one of the developers working on updates to RDR2 posts she is working on an unannounced game.
Rockstar Employee that previously worked on RDR2 updates work description to include a TBA title that is also being worked on alongside RDRO, but doesn’t include GTAO. What do you guys think that TBA title is? #GTA6 #GTAVI pic.twitter.com/6sjLjwDl3H
— Nick (@NickPlaysGamesX) June 9, 2020
Coincidentally a May 2020 leak from 4chan claimed the Remake was in development at Rockstar India, San Diego, and Ruffian Games. Going into detail, the supposed leaker claims the game will be a next-generation only title scheduled for release in Q1-2 of 2021.
Visually the game will be overhauled with greater fidelity in the RDR2 engine. Beyond the visual upgrade, the game is claimed to have activities of hunting and fishing expanded and will be getting additional content with voice actors being called in to record new lines. Red Dead Redemption’s zombie expansion will also be bundled with the game at a $40 price point.
Rumor Evaluation: Likely True
As there are multiple aspects lumped into this rumor, I’ll break them down one by one.
First is the probability that Take-Two would be interested in a remake of the original Red Dead Redemption. If there is no interest or even chance, then all discussions would stop there. To answer this question, yes, they would be interested in a remake of Red Dead Redemption.
Red Dead Redemption 2 made up 32.1% of Take-Two’s fiscal income in 2019. Take-Two, like Activision, Sony, and EA have entered into developing and publishing remakes/reimaginings with the announcement of the Mafia Trilogy. With the success of Red Dead Redemption franchise and development currently focused on other projects, developing a third game would not be viable at this time. A remake, on the contrary, could be made with substantially less resources.
Take-Two has announced out of 93 titled they have planned to release over the next five years, 47 of them will originate from existing franchises. Thus a remake is reasonably plausible.
Impressions for the Glass Door review are mixed. Rockstar has historically maintained a very tight grip on its developers, ensuring information on currently in development titles does not leak out. Of course, there are exceptions as friends talk to each other, but an employee directly divulging a project in development is abnormal. Not impossible though. Just abnormal.
There is less doubt about the updated resume. It is updated, and it does list they are working on an unannounced game. What that game will be is up to speculation. GTA 6 and Bully 2 are both viable candidates that we know of, and there are likely games we do not know of. At the same time, if Rockstar were developing a remake she would be one of the employees they’d want on the project. Given her extensive experience working with RDR2‘s engine and developing Red Dead Redemption 2.
As for the 4chan leak, that is vastly more suspicious than the former two. It cannot be ruled out, but at the same time, it cannot be verified either. It is in a limbo where it will either bet true or false. One thing suspicious is the release date of Grand Theft Auto 6. The game itself has been confirmed in development for some time by sources in the know, along with some job listings.
It is suspicious that it would be so far out, but there are explanations for that. In their financial statement, Take-Two expresses concern that the better than expected performance of their competition’s titles has and may continue to impact their performance in ways that could cause the company to fail to meet their projections. Cyberpunk 2077 will likely dominate 2020 and its expansions 2021. A 2022 release date would then make sense as to move it out of direct competition with another well made open-world game.
Then there is the departure of Dan Houser, who was rumored to be experiencing a fierce case of Trump Derangement Syndrom. People close to the issue, state that he intended Grand Theft Auto 6 to be extremely political and a direct attack against Trump and his ideologies. Take-Two went on to veto that and instructed him he would make an apolitical game. If the game is heavily political, it will likely need to undergo revisions alongside Grand Theft Auto Online 2, which is reported to be a vastly improved experience over the design of the original.
That aside, it would make sense to have a side studio develop the Remake, but keep it to the standard the company expects out of the brand. Thus I lean more towards the leak being legitimate than not, but at the same time, that isn’t a firm belief.
All things together, and with everything considered, this particular rumor is probably true. Specifics are subject to change. For instance, it is unlikely the Remake would be solely on next-generation consoles in only the first year of adoption when the engine works fine on the current generation of consoles. Other than that, this rumor has a good chance of being valid.