Effective March 11
Rockstar is losing one of its most important employees. It’s also losing a co-founder.
Dan Houser, Rockstar’s vice president for creative, will be exiting the company in approximately a month. According to a new filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Houser will leave Rockstar on March 11, 2020. This follows a long hiatus that began last spring.
In the filing, Rockstar parent company Take-Two says “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.”
Houser has been a key figure in Rockstar’s history. He founded the company alongside three other people (including his brother Sam) in 1998. Houser was also a producer and writer on most of Rockstar’s major games. He has writing credits on titles like Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2, Grand Theft Auto V, Max Payne 3, and Bully.
Houser’s departure comes at an interesting time because Rockstar has seemed increasingly interested in online components. Grand Theft Auto V is still massively popular and successful, and it’s because of GTA Online rather than the narrative-driven singleplayer mode. It’s unclear if the two are related in any way, but with recent reports about GTA VI‘s development, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Rockstar will again lean into online play. It might be as simple as the stories Houser wants to tell aren’t the stories Rockstar wants to tell anymore.
Form 8-K [Take-Two Interactive]