Red Dead Redemption 2's PC launch had a rocky start yesterday, with seemingly large numbers of players unable to launch the game at all. On both Reddit and Twitter, complaints have stacked up over an issue where clicking on "play" results in the error "Red Dead Redemption 2 exited unexpectedly" - not great for players just wanting to get their cowboy (or girl) on.
In response to this, Rockstar has now updated its launcher and published advice pages to address the problem - although some players are still reporting issues.
An update has been made to Rockstar Games Launcher. For release notes please see: https://t.co/hCyU63iRcc— Rockstar Support (@RockstarSupport) November 5, 2019
The release notes for update v184.108.40.206 detail that a number of problems surrounding the Rockstar Games Launcher have been fixed, including preload decryption problems, and a variety of other issues preventing Red Dead Redemption 2 from launching. It's unclear whether this has solved all the issues, however, as dozens of replies to Rockstar Support's tweet claim that problems persist despite the update.
And it's still a bit of a mystery as to what, exactly, is causing the problems: on its support site, Rockstar seems to think the main culprit is out-of-date graphics drivers, and also advises players to try running the game as an administrator.
According to the r/PCRedDead launch issues megathread, some players have had success by disabling their antivirus software before running the game. Others have reported success after updating their BIOS, manually updating Windows, or apparently even physically unplugging their hard drives. A few players found a solution to the "activation required" launch error, which involves logging out of the Rockstar launcher before logging back in again.
Meanwhile, if you're experiencing issues with stuttering due to your CPU maxing out, Reddit user serhangelgor has also found a fix for that. Players are also reporting some as-yet unsolved problems with the audio, low FPS in online mode, and stuttering in cutscenes.
Given Rockstar only unveiled its new launcher back in September, the launch problems with Red Dead Redemption 2 aren't a particularly great look for its shiny new platform. If you want a full breakdown of how well Red Dead Redemption 2 runs on PC, hang tight for Digital Foundry's analysis, which is currently in the works. Hopefully the remaining launch issues will be revolvered soon.