We know that Red Dead Redemption 2 is on the way. We know when to expect the first trailer (Thursday). We do not know whether PC gamers will get the chance to play the sequel to one of the best Wild West video games ever made.
We should expect that they will, but also that PC gamers may have to settle in for a little wait.
Grand Theft Auto V was released for consoles in Sept 2013, and landed on PC in April 2015. Grand Theft Auto IV was released on consoles in April 2008, and for PC in December 2008. Max Payne 3 was released for consoles on May 15, 2012 and for PC only two weeks later.
How long it takes developer Rockstar Games to get a console game to PC varies, but generally, it does. Even Bully, which was released for PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox in October 2006, made it onto PC two years later.
Red Dead Redemption, however, never made it to PC. On Sept. 28, 2015, Gamespot reported that Rockstar had never even considered bringing RDR to PC, according to Kris Roberts, the game's lead multiplayer designer. It's no wonder that Red Dead Redemption fans are spooked enough to have already started a petition to bring the sequel to PC.
Why you should expect Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC
Red Dead Redemption was gorgeous. The fidelity with which Rockstar created its vision was key to making players feel like they actually were in the Wild West. The idea that Rockstar wouldn't take advantage of the power of modern gaming PCs to double or triple down on the beauty of RDR's design seems impossible.
Look at Grand Theft Auto V. When it was originally released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, in September 2013, it already looked fantastic. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions released a year later were marked improvements. Storefront signs that had previously been blurry and indistinct were brought into sharp focus. The improvements to the game's lighting effects, especially during an evening drive around the city of Los Santos, were stunning.
But if you look at GTA V on PC, the improvement is even greater. It would be a crime for Red Dead Redemption 2 to not take advantage of what a modern gaming PC is capable of, and the hope we should take from GTA V is that Rockstar does currently have its eye on PC releases.
The Rockstar Editor, a suite of filmmaking tools that Grand Theft Auto V players can use to create in-game movies, was originally a PC-exclusive when the PC version was released on April 14, 2015. Console gamers had to wait until September 2015 to get their hands on the same tools. That Rockstar prioritized PC for one of the most important updates the developer made for GTA V also indicates that Rockstar is taking the PC market seriously.
Unfortunately, the best arguments we can make for why we ought to expect Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC are still anecdotal. Rockstar has never given us a concrete reason why the first Red Dead Redemption never made it to PC, citing only that the studio ports games to PC "whenever it is viable."
If Rockstar decides not to bring Red Dead Redemption 2 to PC, we may never know the reason why — because Rockstar doesn't have to tell anyone a damned thing if it doesn't want. Rockstar is literally the rock-star developer of the video game world, and that's why we love them. Attitude counts.