It's been assumed since Red Dead Redemption was released to nearly universal acclaim and blockbuster sales that Rockstar Games wasn't going to settle for a single game set in the game's universe. Strong franchises are hard to come by these days, and it's safe to say there are millions of gamers already willing to pay for a Red Dead sequel.
For their part, Rockstar has kept quiet about their future plans for the series, but a new employee document suggests that Red Dead Redemption 2 could already be in development, inevitably planned for a release on the next generation of home consoles.
The rumors all originate from the CV of Rockstar Games senior graphics engineer Doron Feinstein (via AGB), currently working at Rockstar's New England studio. Among contributions on Grand Theft Auto V and Max Payne 3, Feinstein lists that he is "currently working on next version of a famous IP." Given that this is Rockstar we're talking about, and there's one "famous" property under their banner currently without an announced - but highly-demanded - sequel, Red Dead seems the obvious answer.
If the sales numbers and critical success of Rockstar's Red Dead Revolver re-imagining didn't already make Red Dead Redemption 2 a foregone conclusion, the CEO of publisher Take-Two has basically said that franchises are their formula moving forward, with Rockstar's among the most reliable. And if there's one thing that the developers might need to truly expand on the foundations of Red Dead's open world, it's a leap to next-gen hardware.
It's still possible that Bully 2 might be the culprit, but given just how much Rockstar has spoken about their desire to return to that series, we're taking that as a sign that it's still all wishful thinking. The prospect of a Red Dead sequel being the next major release from the company? They're not saying a word about that. And that may be due to the fact that they're preparing to make some kind of a statement soon.
There isn't much information to go besides Feinstein's CV, but that certainly won't stop speculation from continuing. We'd recommend that fans take a deep breath, since the game is still years away if development has even begun at this point. Still, the next generation of gaming just got a lot more promising.
What do you think of the document? Is Red Dead the only logical answer to the project in question, or do you think another franchise could be the culprit? If it does happen to be Red Dead-related, what do you hope to see from a next-gen sequel? Share your thoughts in the comments, and stay tuned for any news on the series.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.