Something very messed up is happening in Red Dead Online, and it's got players both disturbed and bewildered.
Rockstar's games are some of the most successful games in the world, mostly due to the fact that they all feel like a living, breathing world for players to explore. They are massive spaces with a lot of moving parts and processes that all need to run together. So naturally from time to time there are going to be some pretty wacky glitches. However, it's unlikely anyone would have thought that one of those glitches could result in giant piles of horse corpses.
You'd think A Plague Tale: Innocence would the only game this week featuring masses of bodies piled up, but Red Dead Online players have encountered the strange bug of finding just piles and piles of dead horses stacked outside of major cities. Even worse, the horses are also usually skinned or burned.
Piles of dead, skinned horses are creepy and unnerving enough on their own. However, apparently the piles also act weird you shoot at them. You can't necessarily shoot the horses, but if you shoot near them, the piles will make noises. The pile will also occasionally grow larger, with several other dead horses spawning in randomly. This has quickly been identified as a bug, and not some kind of in-story horse murder event. Most players have also experienced other problems with the game that could be related to these corpse stacks.
Some players have reported that towns and the surrounding wilderness seem to be devoid of life. There's no other NPCs or animals anywhere. Although if there were just stacks on stacks on stacks of dead horses lying about, you'd probably move away too. There have also been crashes and other issues affecting the game's performance.
Red Dead Online did just come out of its beta period, so it's possible that these horse corpses are just a result of some kind of bug occurring alongside the official launch. Rockstar has since said that they've corrected the issue, issuing the blanket statement of "the issue affecting some players in Red Dead Online that was causing reduced numbers of animals in session and another knock-on effects has been resolved."
So it looks like our dead horse problem has been fixed, but we can't help but wonder if this really was a bug, or if there's still a mass horse murderer still out there biding their time before he or she strikes again.