A certain mission told the player that Arthur’s bounty was thousands of dollars early on in RDR2, but it would be a lot more than that today.
When playing through the story of Red Dead Redemption 2, players are sure to amass bounties for the game’s protagonist, Arthur Morgan. While these bounties can vary depending on the player’s actions, the game’s storyline indicates that Arthur (and others in the Van der Linde gang) have large bounties that have been set since they left Blackwater. Thanks to a certain Pinkerton, it is possible to know not only Arthur’s “canon” bounty, but also to calculate how much money it would translate to today.
During the Chapter 2 mission “A Fisher of Men,” in which Arthur takes young Jack Marston on a fishing trip, Agent Milton arrives to confront Arthur. During this cutscene, Milton tries to threaten Arthur so that he betrays Dutch, stating that “there’s five thousand dollars for your head alone.” Of course, the inscrutable Arthur responds with a joke, asking “For me? Can I turn myself in?” Considering it is unlikely that Arthur has more than a few hundred dollars at this point in the game, players can understand that $5000 was a significant amount for the year in which the storyline takes place.
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Since the mission where Agent Milton reveals Arthur’s bounty is set in 1899, over 120 years of inflation must be accounted for to understand how much $5000 USD would be in 2020. Unfortunately, the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which uses a measurement called the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to measure inflation, only began keeping track of the necessary numbers in 1913. Luckily, historians and mathematicians have created projections of CPI all the way back to the 17th century, meaning it is possible to get a decent estimate of inflation from 1899. While these numbers are not exact, they are a reliable estimate that can help to understand the pressure that was being put on Arthur and the crumbling Van der Linde gang.
Arthur’s $5000 Bounty In 2020
According to an inflation calculator based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $1 in 1899 was equal to $31.36 today. That means that Arthur’s $5000 bounty would be worth approximately $156,795 USD ($207,879 CAD) today. Seeing Arthur’s actual bounty in modern numbers explains why the Pinkertons were so tireless in hunting the Van der Linde gang, and how the law was finally able to catch up to them in the end.
Considering Arthur’s bounty is only revealed early on in Red Dead Redemption 2’s story, it can be assumed that it continues to grow after meeting Agent Milton. Between breaking into mansions, robbing banks, and attacking the law, Arthur’s loyalty to the Van Der Linde gang likely put thousands more dollars on his head. Assuming each 1899 dollar would be worth over $30 today, it’s no wonder why Dutch’s plans always involved running far away and trying to start fresh.
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