As speculated by Red Dead Online players earlier this month, today an official blog post from Rockstar has confirmed a new update - which add real money microtransaction to the game.
In the blog post, Rockstar thanks players for playing the beta and sends a gift of 15 gold bars to all beta players. "The awards will begin rolling out today and if you haven’t experienced the Red Dead Online Beta yet, play by Thursday, December 20th for eligibility. All gold bar gifts should be delivered by Monday, December 24th. Keep an eye out for an alert screen when entering the Red Dead Online Beta to confirm the gift" - Rockstar writes in the post.
Also, as a thank-you gift for players whose pre-ordered the game, Rockstar also handing out some free RDO$. According to the blog post, you will get RDO$100 for pre-ordering any version of the game, an additional RDO$100 if you pre-ordered the special edition, and if you pre-ordered the ultimate edition, you would get an additional RDO$1,000.
Comes along with this update is the real-money store system, where you can purchase gold bars with real money. Currently you can get 25 gold bars for $9.99 (there is also a special offer to get 25 for $4.99), 55 for $19.99, 150 for $49.99, 245 for $74.99, or 350 for $99.99.
Finally, there are some bug fixes and general improvements that got roll-out with the latest update of Red Dead Online. According to Rockstar's blog post:
"We have been poring through incoming community input and suggestions and are working on updates for early 2019 to address many popular bits of feedback including some new anti-griefing measures in the works and other updates to improve gameplay balance. We are also working on lots of new features, modes and additional Red Dead Online gameplay content update that we are very excited to share more about in the new year."