Ringo Starr’s unlikely connection to the Red Dead series

With excitement building around Red Dead Redemption 2, the big-budget, sure to be epic open world wild west game from Rockstar due out soon, it’s easy to forget the series has a somewhat bizarre origin story.

But did you know that we have Ringo Starr, in part, to thank for the Red Dead series?

That’s one of the fun anecdotes to come out of the latest episode of People Make Games, the YouTube series from former Eurogamer video chap Chris Bratt.

The video, below, reveals the making of Red Dead Revolver, which came out in 2004 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. This game was published by Rockstar and developed by Rockstar San Diego, but it began life as a Capcom-published project developed by Angel Studios, the name of Rockstar San Diego before it was bought and rebranded.

So, here’s the Ringo Starr connection: before Angel Studios was working on a Wild West game, it was making SWAT, a game in which you control a SWAT team. Then, during this early development, Yoshiki Okamoto, the producer of the game over in Capcom Japan, was said to be watching a spaghetti western starring Ringo Starr. Apparently this film, for whatever reason, had given him a change of heart. SWAT is scrapped and Angel Studios is told to work on a spaghetti western video game. Red Dead is born.

The film in question, by the way, is Blindman, a 1971 Italian spaghetti western. (There’s a great article on Rolling Stone that delves into how Starr ended up in the oddball horse opera about a sightless gunfighter.)

Anyway, the video’s well worth a watch if you’re wondering about where Red Dead Redemption really came from. And stick to the end – there’s a great revelation about the Red Dead Revolver box art and… Owen Wilson.

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