February 5, 2020 | 15:00
Dan Houser, co-founder of Rockstar Games, and head writer on many of its biggest hits, is leaving the company in March.
Houser who founded the company with his brother, Sam, played an instrumental role in franchises like Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead, and Bully. As head writer, he's played a pivotal role in the writing of all the Red Dead games, Bully, and all but the first Grand Theft Auto game. He also played a major role in the writing of Max Payne 3. Granted, there's a large writing team working alongside him who are hopefully more than adept at writing, but losing a leader who's presumably been instrumental in the direction such games have gone in could mean a fundamental shift for the gaming giant.
Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar's parent company, released a statement regarding Houser's departure:
"After an extended break beginning in the spring of 2019, Dan Houser, Vice President, Creative at Rockstar Games, will be leaving the company. Dan Houser’s last day will be March 11, 2020. We are extremely grateful for his contributions. Rockstar Games has built some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful game worlds, a global community of passionate fans and an incredibly talented team, which remains focused on current and future projects."
It's worth noting the extended break commenced after Red Dead Redemption 2's release.
Alongside that, Rockstar Games released its own brief statement simply confirming that Sam Houser's role will remain unchanged following Dan Houser's departure.
For now, it's tricky to say what effect this will have on Rockstar Games. The developer is still working on more content for Red Dead Online and GTA Online, although we're guessing eventually a new title has to emerge from the studio. It hasn't announced what its next game will be although rumours strongly suggest that surely it must be Grand Theft Auto VI.
The announcement did lead to share prices falling 5.5 percent which is quite the fall for one person leaving.
Rockstar Games hasn't had a great time of things lately either given accusations of horrifically long development crunches to get Red Dead Redemption 2 finished, so this probably isn't the kind of news the firm could do with.
Time will tell what kind of long-term effect this could have on the gaming behemoth.
February 17 2020 | 09:00