• Red Dead Redemption 2 won Labor of Love at Steam Awards despite the lack of updates in Red Dead Online.
  • RDR3 needs a new online mode with more thorough support to make up for Red Dead Online’s untimely decline.
  • Red Dead Online is well-loved, but it still has many clear areas upon which RDR3 can improve.

The Steam Awards are an annual celebration of games that are voted on by fans, rather than a panel of judges. During the 2023 voting period, players nominated their picks for eleven different categories. Because any game could be nominated, there were some surprising titles among the winners. Red Dead Redemption 2, for instance, won the Labor of Love category, an award meant to celebrate the ongoing support provided by developers long after the debut of a game. This win seems to be a dig at the lack of support and attention given to Red Dead Online rather than a compliment.

Red Dead Online hasn’t had a major update since December 2021. In July 2022, Rockstar announced that it would no longer be pushing major updates to the game, instead occasionally releasing holiday-related content. Players have since expressed disappointment over the lack of support for the game, especially when compared to Grand Theft Auto Online. Considering all this, it becomes plausible that Red Dead Redemption 2‘s Labor of Love win is the result of trolling voters rather than a genuine belief that it had earned the award. This might be a message that Rockstar should keep in mind when it gets around to producing Red Dead Redemption 3.


Rockstar Has an Obvious Stopgap to Make Before Red Dead Redemption 3

If Rockstar plans on developing Red Dead Redemption 3 at some point, there are a few potential projects that could be released in the interim.

Red Dead Online Is Dead, Despite the Steam Awards

The Labor of Love award is given specifically to games that are still nurtured by its developers with frequent updates and new content, even “after all these years.” Through posts online, Twitter hashtags, and now this award, Red Dead Online players have made their frustration over Rockstar’s treatment of the online service clear. At the moment, Rockstar has its hands full with the upcoming release of Grand Theft Auto 6, but that doesn’t take a possible follow up to the highly successful Red Dead Redemption 2 off the table. The best way to acknowledge this Labor of Love award and the voices of fans would perhaps be to create a much more robust and long-lived version of Red Dead Online in a future title.

Rockstar could truly earn the Labor of Love award if Red Dead Online was given as much attention and effort as Grand Theft Auto Online has enjoyed. The wild west has plenty of opportunities for more missions, new characters, and new opportunities to play with friends. The initial updates to Red Dead Online, such as the new Specialist Role of Moonshiner, were lauded as excellent additions to the game. If Rockstar had continued to add content like new Frontier Pursuits over the last few years, then the developers may have genuinely deserved the Labor of Love award.

Specialist Roles in Red Dead Online

  • Bounty Hunter
  • Trader
  • Collector
  • Moonshiner
  • Naturalist

The Specialist Roles in Red Dead Online served as classes in the game. The online mode started with two, the Moonshiner and Naturalist roles coming with later updates. A simple way to revive and maintain new content for Red Dead Online would be through new Specialist Roles. Since the release of the game, players have wanted to emulate John Marston in Red Dead Redemption 2‘s post-game content and become a rancher or ranch hand. Rather than running around the open world, some players are interested in settling down, purchasing property, and building a farm of their own. A Rancher or Farmer role would be one way that developers could grant this wish.

There are plenty of opportunities for further classes to be added when it comes time to develop the next Red Dead title. Red Dead Redemption 3 could serve as a fresh start for Red Dead Online with new Specialist Roles, new clothes and items, a way for players to purchase and manage property, and new missions. To earn the trust of previous players, perhaps the ones that ironically voted for RDR2 in the Steam Awards, Rockstar needs to come out swinging with tons of content for a revamped Red Dead Online.

Red Dead Online Needs Redemption

Any new updates to Red Dead Online have been largely technical, like a PC patch in January 2024. Fans have felt that Red Dead Online content petered out because Rockstar, as a company, was more focused on developing the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto 6. This is why Red Dead Online is said to “live in the shadow” of GTA Online. After the release of Grand Theft Auto 6, attention will once again turn to the Red Dead Redemption series. A possible Red Dead Redemption 3 will present Rockstar with the opportunity to try again with an online mode to the game.

red dead redemption 2 poster

Red Dead Redemption 2

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RDR2 is a Western-themed action/adventure game by Rockstar. It’s a prequel to Red Dead Redemption and stars Arthur Morgan, an outlaw who adventures across the land avoiding and fighting other outlaws, the government, and anyone else looking to cause trouble.

October 26, 2018

Online Multiplayer


M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs and Alcohol

How Long To Beat
50 Hours



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