After joining the Xbox One backward compatibility list this weekend, Red Dead Redemption is once again unavailable, with Microsoft claiming it was on offer in error.
Over the weekend, many Xbox One owners were delighted to find that the Xbox 360 version of Rockstar’s widely lauded western Red Dead Redemption was available on their console via backward compatibility. However, that development has already been rescinded and classified as an error by Microsoft.
The game became available on Saturday night, albeit through a rather convoluted method; users would have to find a specific Xbox Live member and download the title from the list of games he was following. Director of programming for Xbox Live Larry Hryb confirmed that Red Dead Redemption was being offered in error yesterday evening.
Hryb explained that Microsoft is testing all Xbox 360 games with its emulator, whether or not the necessary conversations to ensure a release have taken place. As a result of an ‘error’, some titles being put through their paces ended up being made available to all users.
This brief window of opportunity has now closed, and it remains to be seen whether it will open again. While the game has long been among the most commonly requested additions to the backward compatibility scheme, we’ve been given some signals that Rockstar is holding off on giving the go-ahead.
Late last year, we were given a glimpse inside the process of adding a game to the backward compatibility list thanks to Microsoft group program manager Richard Irving. He noted that licensing discussions with publishers can be a long process, and user voting systems were set up to prioritize individual titles.
If Red Dead Redemption is still a part of the backward compatibility test library, that certainly suggests that it’s still in the running for an eventual release. However, it would certainly make sense for such an addition to be made with some fanfare, rather than coming under the radar like this.
Those lucky enough to download the game while it was available report that it was running very well, with no major graphical or technical hiccups. Assuming that there are no major issues tucked away, this would suggest that licensing roadblocks are the only obstacles that could potentially prevent a proper release.
At this point, it certainly seems like Red Dead Redemption will be added to the backward compatibility list — it’s just a matter of how long we’ll have to wait for it. If rumours of a sequel are indeed true, it might simply be a case of when the release would best suit Rockstar.
Red Dead Redemption is available now for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.