Main characters from Red Dead Franchise

History of the Red Dead Franchise

History of the Red Dead Franchise

Red Dead Redemption 2 has gamers all over hyped up for a new adventure in the wild west. This new edition of the franchise brings promises of a massive open world to explore, new mechanics for interacting with the environment and a lengthy story to keep gamers captivated. Before we begin our epic new adventure, let’s take a look back at what came before in the series and what has lead up to this long-expected title.

Red Dead Revolver

Back in 2000, Red Dead Revolver was being produced by Angel Studios with oversight by Capcom and set for a release in spring of 2002. During 2002, Take-Two Interactive announced that they had acquired Angel Studios and moved it under the Rockstar label, renaming the studio Rockstar San Diego. Red Dead Revolver was in a bit of development hell after that due to still being tied to Capcom until eventually Rockstar Studios acquired the rights to the game and gave it to Rockstar San Diego to develop. The game finally launched as the first title in the series on May 4th, 2004.


The story of Red Dead Revolver takes place in the 1880’s wild west, where Nate Harlow and his partner Griff strike gold in Bear Mountain. To celebrate, the two commission two matching revolvers with a scorpion design on them. Not long after, Griff is captured by the Mexican Army where he offered the army General Diego half of the gold in the mountain to spare his life. While General Diego complies, he sends Colonel Daren to kill Nate. The Colonel goes to Nate’s farm killing both him and his wife, but before getting away Nate’s son Red grabs his father’s revolver and shoots off Daren’s arm before he escapes.

Years later, Red has become a successful bounty hunter tracking down contracts all over the old west. After a run in with a few outlaw gangs and saving a few citizens on the way, he has an encounter with Annie Stokes who gives him information and leads him to Griff, now Governor Griffin who still owns part of Bear Mountain. Red eventually tracks down General Diego and kills him while he is transporting a large sum of the gold he had mined from Bear Mountain. After the conflict, Red learns that it was Griff who sold out his parents to the General and chases him down after a quickdraw competition that was supposed to be rigged to kill Red. Once he has Griff cornered in his mansion, he takes the second revolver from Griff letting him know that it was never about the money and the story of Red Dead Revolver concludes.

Red, Dead, Revolver, Gun, Barrel, Cowboy, Hat, Night, Fence, Duel

Red Dead Redemption

In 2005, Rockstar San Diego began development in the second chapter of the series Red Dead Redemption with a team of around 800 people. The main focus that the developers wanted to bring to the game was the open world and the authentic old west feel is set in 1911 where the modern age was slowly beginning to take hold. The teams did extensive research of old photographs of the time period as well as a plethora of old western films in an attempt to fill the world with enough content that would keep players captivated. The estimated total budget for the development of the game was between 80 and 100 million making it one of the most expensive video games in history. Red Dead Redemption 2 was released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4 on May 19, 2010.

Red, Dead, Redemption, Cactus, Desert, Flag, John, Shotgun, Barrel, Bullet

Red Dead Redemption follows the life of John Marston after he has been arrested by the Bureau of Investigation and taken away from his family. He is promised that he can return only when he has helped the Bureau track down the remaining members of his old outlaw gang and bring them to justice. While attacking the stronghold of the gang, he is shot and left for dead by his old crew. A local rancher Bonnie MacFarlane finds him and brings him back to her ranch where he eventually recovers and begins working around the ranch for her and her father to repay the debt of saving his life. Soon after, John discovers that the members he has been tracking down had fled to Mexico to seek safety with other members of the gang and pursues them.

While in Mexico, John helps the Mexican Army with a rebellion taking place making a deal that they would help him track down the gang members he has been searching for. When he is betrayed by the army Colonel, he switches sides to begin aiding the rebels which eventually turns the tides of the war in their favor against the Mexican Army. After assaulting a stronghold with the rebels, John learns information that one of the former gang members, Bill Williamson, was under the protection of the Colonel. John attacks the palace where they are hiding where the Colonel and Williamson attempt to flee but are captured by John and the rebels and executed. Once the rebels have successfully taken over the Government and set up their own, John heads to Blackwater to meet with the Bureau.

Red, Dead, Redemption, John, Rifle, Gang, Ranch, Horse, Black, Tan, Tree, Standoff

While meeting with the agents of the Bureau, they inform John that they will not let him go back home until he has tracked down and captured Dutch van der Linde, the leader of Johns former gang. Dutch has been forming a new gang of his own, so with the help of the Bureau and some U.S. Soldiers, John tracks Dutch down where the gang leader kills himself by jumping off of a cliff. John is relieved of his debt and allowed to return home to his wife Abigail and son Jack. Not long after, a combination of the Bureau and soldiers commence a surprise attack on Jacks ranch where he is able to get his family to safety but eventually is shot dead.

Years later after his mother’s death, Jack Marston tracks down Ross, the member of the Bureau who betrayed his father and shoots him dead in a duel.

With the rich history of the franchise, it is no surprise that Red Dead Redemption 2 has so much hype behind it. Rockstar has proven time and time again that it can deliver a massive open world experience with a captivating story that keeps gamers going for days on end and this new iteration of the series looks like it will be meeting all those expectations and more. Don’t forget to check out our top 10 pre-release gameplay details for Red Dead Redemption 2 right here. Red Dead Redemption 2 launches on October 26th, 2018.

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