You may have heard about a supposed Rockstar Games leak yesterday, purported to be from the studio's upcoming open world western Red Dead Redemption 2. Despite some dubious elements to the leaked screenshot, it did look convincing; at the very least, it resembled an actual screenshot from an actual game. As it turns out that's absolutely the case, but the screenshot isn't from Red Dead Redemption 2 or any Rockstar title. It's from an upcoming massively multiplayer online title called Wild West Online, published by DJ2 and coming to PC.
PCGamer delivered the exclusive goods on the game earlier today, detailing the title's planned Kickstarter campaign for a cool $250,000 to aid the title's development. Thankfully (and as evidenced by the screenshots), development is already well underway, and the Kickstarter money will be used to "secure extra funding to expand its features." There are also subsequent stretch goals, some detailed and some to be named later. At $1.75 million raised, for example, train robberies will be added as part of a "season one" update.
Though described as an MMO, Wild West Online won't feature thousands of players exploring its vast world at once. Instead, "server shards" will be used, each containing a "few hundred players" who will "coexist together or die trying." The piece also includes new screenshots of the game, and while it does look shockingly similar to Rockstar's franchise (right down to a John Marston look-alike), I hardly see that as a problem – all westerns borrow from each other anyway, be it movies, games, or otherwise. It's part of the business.
It's not yet known when Wild West Online will release other than "Fall 2017," a conspicuously similar window to, you guessed it, Red Dead Redemption 2. For now Wild West Online is safe from being overshadowed (Rockstar hasn't confirmed RDR2 for PC just yet), but if that changes we may have a serious shootout on our hands. More on the game is promised to surface in the coming months, so if you're a fan of the genre you'll want to stay tuned.