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Why Red Dead Online players are dressing up as clowns

A growing number of Red Dead Online players are dressing their characters as clowns. And they hope Rockstar Games gets the message.

Over the past several days, Red Dead Online players have outfitted their character designs with clown masks to protest a lack of major updates to the game. In different parts of the Red Dead universe, players with clown-masked characters are joining forces to invade towns, hijack trains, and otherwise make a statement. Players say, however, that they’re doing it all in a fun way.

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“Rather than let it turn negative or nasty, which in-game communities things often can, I thought I’d turn [our protests] into something a bit more fun or even wholesome in a way,” Magnar a Red Dead Online Discord chat group admin told Polygon. “We’re the clowns for expecting an update or communication, so let’s have fun with that.”

Red Dead Online hasn’t received a major update in months and Rockstar has been slow to provide any details on when, or even if, something big is coming.

While there have been complaints about the dearth of updates on Reddit and elsewhere in recent weeks, they grew louder earlier this month when the Red Dead Fashion community said its July theme was The Traveling Circus. The group, which urges Red Dead Online players to dress their characters differently each month to win fashion contests, said it chose the July theme because “we’re all clowns for believing we’ll get an update.”

It’s unclear why Rockstar hasn’t announced any major Red Dead Online updates and hasn’t responded to the recent clown protests. The company also hasn’t responded to a Digital Trends request for comment on the player protests.

But it may have no choice but to respond in the coming days. To amp up their efforts, players have announced plans to hold a clown-centered cross-platform protest on Monday, July 20. Details are scant, but in a tweet on Tuesday, July 14, the player-run Red Dead Online Community Twitter account said information on the response and how it’ll be conducted will be shared over the weekend.

“I’d suggest planning a nice circus/clown themed outfit in the meantime,” the tweet reads.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology, video game, and entertainment journalist. He has been writing about the world of…
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