What is Red Dead Redemption?
Red Dead Redemption is a gaming franchise from Rockstar Games, the same developer responsible for the Grand Theft Auto series. It is set in the Wild West; the current game is Red Dead Redemption 2, which was released in October 2018.
It was the second biggest launch of any kind ever in the entertainment industry. In just the opening weekend, 24 million games were sold, translating to about $725m (£570m) worth. Red Dead Online, the multiplayer version, has only recently gone live. The addition of poker into the game following the beta period has stirred up some issues.
Poker in Red Dead Online
The online Red Dead offering was significantly upgraded an initial beta period, with much new content added. Abilities and weapons were tweaked and some bugs were fixed. Poker was part of the new content.
This meant that players could challenge those on their friend’s list to play poker in private or they could play on the public server. Each poker table allowed six players and there were five destinations in the game a player could travel to in order to play poker.
However, when some players tried to play poker at one of these five locations, they found that they were not able to. Initially, people thought this was just a bug.
They soon got in touch with the customer support team to try to get this supposed issue resolved. However, many were surprised by the response they received from the support team.
Responding to these inquiries, the customer support team said: “We are sorry to let you know that the availability of Poker in Red Dead Online is dependent on regional laws and regulations and may not be available to all players. In short, poker won’t be available in countries where online gambling is restricted or illegal.”
What does this mean?
Therefore, even though no real money is exchanged, it appears that poker in Red Dead Online is not allowed in many countries because it depends on the gambling laws where the player is located. Even some countries that allow online poker still blocked this offering.
While players can use real money to buy gold for in-game purchases, gold cannot be used to play poker in the game. With there being a large crackdown on the gaming industry’s supposed embracing of gambling in the likes of loot boxes, the game developers may be erring on the side of caution in this case.
Loot boxes controversy
Loot boxes have become a popular part of video games in recent years. These are boxes containing various in-game items. Items will differ in rarity. While boxes can be earned through gameplay, it is much quicker to simply purchase in-game currency and use that to buy the loot boxes.
Many countries in Europe now deem these offerings to be gambling. Therefore, video game developers were guilty of offering gambling to underage people in a lot of cases. They were told to remove the gambling aspects from their games. This was for prominent titles such as FIFA, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Overwatch. Some countries in Europe, such as Belgium, now have a total ban on loot boxes.
Some US lawmakers are pushing for a similar ban there.