After seven months without a significant update, Red Dead Online players have decided to send in the clowns. The hope among many is that dressing up as clowns will get Rockstar’s attention and encourage the developer to bring a new update to the game a little faster. Plus, it’s something to do.
The last big Red Dead Online update was released back in December of 2019. That popular and well-received Moonshiners update added a brand new role to the game, plus new missions, activities, and even player-owned bars. I really enjoyed the update and thought at the time that it was a positive direction for RDO that got me excited to see what was coming up next.
Other players and I are still waiting for what’s next. In the same period of time, GTA Online has received updates including new contact missions and F1 races. I hate how quickly a game’s community can start to say a popular game is “dead,” but in RDO’s case, it’s hard to blame players for feeling that way. So in a move that echoes the recent alien war in GTA Online, RDO players have been dressing up as clowns to protest the lack of updates, the lack of communication from Rockstar about the game’s future, and to bring attention to the game’s current state.
Numerous outlets have been reporting on these clown protests over the last week, and since those earlier stories, the amount of players dressing up as clowns and invading RDO has only grown. Because this is an online video game with guns, these are almost always murderous clowns. Players will sometimes meet in large groups and invade servers. Other times players just play the game dressed as a clown.
A popular YouTuber, OnlyPVPCat, has posted videos encouraging and teaching players how to dress up like a clown in RDO and has also shared videos where all the players in an RDO server are clowns who meet up and play together.
Rockstar hasn’t responded to the fan protest, at least not in any official way. Considering Rockstar saw the alien war in GTA Online and quickly gave the alien suits away for free, it seems unlikely it hasn’t at this point seen the current clown fest. Kotaku has reached out to Rockstar about the situation.
Of course, the world is a very different place today than back when the last RDO update hit in December 2019. The covid-19 pandemic has forced most developers, including Rockstar, to work from home. This has no doubt made it trickier to create and release big updates. But at this point, many fans might just be happy with a message from Rockstar about its RDO plans. Instead, Rockstar has remained silent, leading to even more player frustration.
Will the clown protest force Rockstar to update the game? No. Will it make the developer release a comment or road map for RDO? Also, probably no. But it might at least show the developers that the game has a large, active community that is eager to play the game, even if they have to do so as clowns.