Rockstar Games announced this morning that Red Dead Redemption 2 will make its PC debut on November 5, for people looking to purchase it via the Rockstar Games Launcher, Epic Games Store and similar marketplaces. Those who want to buy the game on Steam will have to wait until December, though, and won't be able to claim the pre-order bonuses offered by other sellers.
For some, the decision to delay Red Dead Redemption 2's availability on Steam might cast a shadow on what otherwise would have been welcome news. This will be the first Red Dead title available on PC; its predecessors were all restricted to consoles. Rockstar also said this version of the game "features a range of graphical and technical enhancements for increased immersion along with new Bounty Hunting Missions, Gang Hideouts, Weapons and more."
Rockstar said PC players will also have free access to Red Dead Online, the game's "shared living world," with "all previously released improvements and the latest content updates for the complete online experience." This could be the definitive version of Red Dead Redemption 2. Rather than simply bringing the game to PC, though, Rockstar decided to use its launch to convince people they should use the Rockstar Games Launcher.
People who pre-order Red Dead Redemption 2 via the Rockstar Games Launcher between October 9-22 will receive two free games from the company's library. Purchases via the company's platform will also be bumped up to the Premium Edition for free, and it's offering $20 discounts on the Special Edition and Ultimate Edition, too. Rockstar will also offer access to content for the game's story mode as well as Red Dead Online as pre-order bonuses.
Rockstar said pre-orders will open on the Epic Games Store, Greenman Gaming, the Humble Store, GameStop and "additional digital retailers" on October 23. Pre-orders made via those platforms will net "25 Gold Bars for Red Dead Online." There was no mention of Steam pre-orders. And, to add insult to injury, Rockstar also said that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be available on the Google Stadia game streaming platform in November.
That means people will be able to stream Red Dead Redemption 2 before they'll be able to purchase it via Steam. Given the backlash developers have received for their games being exclusive to the Epic Games Store, we doubt Rockstar's decision to use this game to push its own game launcher will be well-received. Then again, this is a game about the Wild West, and worse things happened there.