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Red Dead Redemption 2 Just Broke A Record

The lonely story of Aurther Morgan and the last days of the Van der Linde Gang has touched a lot of people since "Red Dead Redemption 2" took the series' transformation in a stunning new direction in 2018. Over 46 million players have gotten to explore the natural beauty of an ever-shrinking American frontier as the forces of civilization continue to encroach on these outlaws, pushing them farther and farther in their search for freedom and prosperity (via Statista). 

This monumental popularity amongst gamers isn't really all that surprising given the quality of the title that Rockstar managed to produce though. It's one of only two games released on the PS4 that received nearly perfect scores on Metacritic, and it won the Game of the Year awards for Best Narrative, Best Score and Best Audio Design. Still, some might think that the popularity of "RDR2" would have at least started to wind down now that the game is over four years old. They would be wrong.

It seems that "Red Dead Redemption 2" currently has more players than ever before, at least on PC. But as good as the game may be, what prompted the sudden resurgence in its player base? Well, there might be a couple of factors at play.

Why are so many people playing Red Dead Redemption 2?

According to Steam Charts, "Red Dead Redemption 2" has averaged 21,971 players across the last 30 days, peaking at 66,113. Not only does that peak represent the most players that have ever been logged into the PC version at any given time (including the months following the game's release), it's a more than 30% increase over the number of peak players the game has had since February 2020.

A few reasons might explain this sudden spike in the game's player base. The most significant contributor might just be the fact that gamers saw some of the best seasonal discounts and sales on the title ever — like Steam's Autumn Sale discounting the game by 67%. Another, less direct, correlation is that PC gamers also saw discounts on PC components during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. In particular, these sales dramatically brought down the prices of graphics cards which have been outrageously expensive during the global chip shortage that began in 2020 (per Tom's Hardware). It may be that many gamers who are finally able to build a reasonably priced PC are looking for a beautiful set-piece game to flex their new hardware capabilities, and few games are prettier than "Red Dead Redemption 2."

Whatever the reason PC players have been flocking to Rockstar's wild west masterpiece, some newcomers will undoubtedly be distraught to learn Rockstar won't be dropping any major updates to "Red Dead Online."