Rockstar Games today finally confirmed that Red Dead Redemption 2 will launch in 2017, after several days of teases and years of speculation.

Described as "an epic tale of life in America's unforgiving heartland," the sequel will also introduce "a brand new online multiplayer experience," said the studio.

"We hope to deliver players an epic experience that builds upon everything we've learned making games," said studio founder Sam Houser.

Added to the revelation that publisher Take-Two had registered a domain for "Red Dead Online," it would appear that Rockstar is set to develop upon the multiplayer-focused gameplay of Grand Theft Auto V.

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The title marks a departure from the series' previous naming convention, effectively ending speculation on which R-word would follow Red Dead.

Macquarie Securities analyst Ben Schachter released a prediction shortly after the announcement, claiming the game will likely ship 12 million copies in Take-Two's second quarter 2017, thanks to "significant pent-up demand and interest for the sequel."

Red Dead Redemption 2 launches Fall 2017 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4; a trailer is set to debut at 4am Friday, New Zealand time.

- Gameplanet.co.nz