RDR can never beat GTA. 3rd game will be good, online will be good, but not great. And you'll quickly be reminded of how fun limiting the old west is with no fast guns or fast cars and aircraft. They'll kill the limited old west map by making everyone's icons show up, so theres no way to get lost in the maps, and no sense of real danger lurking around the bend if you dont know if its AI or player danger you'll run into. To make online old west have more playability, they'll really need to get a little sim-ish to appeal to the game's fans. Not The Sims, Im talking simulating living the big life in the old west. Im talking owning ranches, and having things like custom horse making where you can paint the horses realistic coats and sell to players who want a specific looking horse. Being able to play as the law online. Making the old west last long online with no help from the future, requires a lot of attention to detail that Im betting Rockstar overlooks. Look at all the crappy online modes they create that are dead on arrival. They made a gorgeous map with immense replay ability, but they dont truly understand what is fun. And the most fun comes from player made jobs that think outside the box. I just put $210 into shark cards this past month into GTA, this far after release. I dont see myself staying with RDR online nearly as long. I expect to be bored with it and never come back after a year.
I agree with all of this. RDR Online will need properties and all kinds of other appropriate western activities and things that we can accumulate, to keep most players interested (and to make money on microtransactions). I would grind away in that beautiful world, to get these kinds of cumulative rewards.
Otherwise, I'll probably just spend a couple hours in RDR Online, like I did with the old multiplayer, and then drop it. RDR had plenty of Single Player replayability for a solo grinder like me. To drive the solos and casuals to RDR Online, Rockstar will have to make a point of removing the replayability from SP, and they probably will do exactly that.
Some players of course, want only PvP online mode, so they can bully and pwn casuals, to get their rocks off. But I can't see that being anywhere near as satisfying for the player community, long term, as GTA0 has been.