A Red Dead Redemption 2 PS5 and Xbox Series X version was discussed internally at Microsoft, potentially pointing to an incoming new-gen remaster.
In leaked court documents from the Xbox FTC leak (which also revealed the Xbox Series X refresh and Oblivion and Fallout 3 remasters), Phil Spencer discussed the potential gap in the Xbox Game Pass schedule that would be caused by the delay of Starfield from 2022 to 2023. In response, the Microsoft team worked to determine what upcoming development projects could potentially be added to the service.
As well as games like Dying Light 2, Cities Skylines 2 and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, that list features an entry for 'RDR2' from 'T2', clearly pointing to Red Dead Redemption 2 and publisher Take-Two Interactive. The entry goes on to suggest that Microsoft was hoping for "D&D for gen9." In simpler terms, that's a day and date Game Pass release for a new-gen Red Dead Redemption 2 PS5 and Xbox Series X release.
Microsoft's list also reveals a handful of extra details about that potential port. Rockstar was expected to ask for more than $5 million a month, but Xbox imagined the game would bring 10 million monthly hours to Game Pass. It also noted that an updated release was "doubtful on PC," but it's not clear if that refers to an upgrade, or a specific Xbox Game Pass for PC release.
Unfortunately, Microsoft also suggested that a potential Red Dead Redemption PS5 and Xbox Series X version would release during Q2 of the 2023 financial year. Based on Microsoft's fiscal year, that meant an expected release some time between October-December 2022, but obviously that never materialized.
It's not clear what's become of the project. This is Microsoft's internal research, so it's unlikely that a new version of Red Dead Redemption 2 was never in the works at Rockstar or Take-Two. It's far more likely that the project has been delayed - possibly as a result of the negativity around the disappointing GTA Collection port, or the recent announcement of the original Red Dead Redemption's PS4 and Switch 'conversion'.
The project may also have been cancelled internally without ever seeing the light of day, but that also seems unlikely. While we wait for GTA 6, Rockstar is likely to want to make some extra money, and given the success of Red Dead Redemption 2 and the absence of an updated version, it certainly seems like a new-gen release would be a good idea. Many game projects are cancelled internally before we know anything about them, but I have to say I'd be surprised if that was the case here, especially given Microsoft's confidence in its existence.
Keep an eye on the official release windows with our list of new games 2023.