The Red Dead Online public beta will take place after the game's official launch, which should give players plenty of opportunity to explore offline before jumping into the multiplayer universe.
Red Dead Online will be the name of the multiplayer portion of Red Dead Redemption 2 and will be set in the game's massive open world.
The announcement doesn't discuss much, but it does promise an evolution of the "classic multiplayer experience" present in the first Red Dead Redemption game, as well as a focus on a strong narrative, as well as solid competitive and cooperative gameplay. Concerns over launching a big new online game were also a reason. Rockstar is keeping details to a minimum, but we already know enough about the game's connection to both the campaign and GTA Online to start building hype right now.
Of course, they're bracing themselves for another monumentally popular launch, and so are adopting a beta tag on this occasion, saying that "As with most online experiences of this size and scale, there will inevitably be some turbulence at launch".
'We look forward to working with our incredible and dedicated community to share ideas, help us fix teething problems and work with us to develop Red Dead Online into something really fun and innovative'.
For anyone that has Red Dead Redemption 2 for either Xbox One or PlayStation 4 (sadly, still no PC), the service will be completely free.
The Online service will be hitting post-launch as it continues to evolve through the beta.