Take-Two Interactive has confirmed reports that creative visionary Dan Houser is to leave Rockstar Games.
Dan Houser, along with his brother Sam, is a games industry powerhouse and one half of the creative force behind the best selling Grand Theft Auto series.
At the age of just 24, Dan and Sam Houser created the first video game in a series that has lasted more than twenty years.
The Houser brothers were working for DMA Design in Dundee, Scotland when they developed the first GTA title.
The success of the game saw DMA Design become acquired by many companies such as Gremlin Interactive and Infogrames under publishing from Psygnosis.
Following the acquisition by Infogrames the studio was sold to Take-Two Interactive where it remains to this day as Rockstar North which was founded by the Houser brothers.
Under Rockstar North, the Grand Theft Auto series become a worldwide phenomenon following the release of the epic Grand Theft Auto 3.
The game was praised for its movie-style direction, excellent crime story, 3D graphics and voice acting from Hollywood stars.
All of these excellent features were from Dan and Sam Houser’s direct input.
As teenagers, the Houser brothers are said to have been heavily influenced by American crime movies and Westerns thanks to living close to a movie rental store.
Their love and passion for these movies can be easily seen in the GTA series and later on with the groundbreaking Red Dead series of games.
As well as running Rockstar with his brother, Dan Houser is also credited with being a producer, writer, director and voice artist on Rockstar Games.
Despite the success of their game and the huge amount of work that they have done, the Houser brothers are rarely seen in the public eye and refuse to take individual credit for the series’ success.
Other games that Houser has worked include Bully, the Max Payne series and L.A Noire.
As of yet no reason has been given for Mr. Houser’s departure from the company, however it has been noticed that he has just returned from an extended break.
Take-Two Interactive officially announced Mr. Houser’s resignation on the 4th of February 2020.
In a statement, the publisher wrote:
“We are extremely grateful for Mr. Houser’s contributions and that the remaining team was focused on upcoming projects“.
It isn’t clear whether Dan Houser will remain in the games industry or whether he will retire, but his brother Sam has been confirmed to remain as company President.
There is some speculation around whether Dan Houser’s departure is a result of the comments he made during an interview about Red Dead Redemption 2.
In an interview with Vulture in 2018, Houser stated that the development team was working 100 hours per week.
This angered industry insiders and the public alike where Rockstar Games was accused of overworking staff in order to finish a product on time.
However, this is common practice in the video games industry when a product is nearing the end of development, so this is unlikely to have anything to with the news of Houser’s departure.
Mr. Houser’s resignation from Rockstar Games should be celebrated rather than mourned since his contribution to the games industry is legendary.
Houser’s departure from Rockstar Games will undoubtedly have an effect on the company’s future but maybe not in as bad a way as people are already thinking.
It certainly won’t be the end of Grand Theft Auto, so don’t listen to any of the doomsayers that are already trolling the forums.
However, it has already been reported that stock for Take-Two Interactive has fallen by 5% since Houser’s resignation announcement.
Rockstar Games is a resilient company that has weathered storms before and I’m certain they will replace Dan Houser with someone suitable.
Given that Dan Houser is a creative powerhouse and a very influential person in the industry, I doubt we have seen the last of him.
People like Houser are a force to be reckoned with and given his propensity for video game creation, I am looking forward to seeing what he does with this new chapter of his life.
I wish Dan Houser the best of luck in whatever he chooses to do next and would like to take the opportunity to thank him for his amazing contributions to the industry – thanks for the fun, Dan.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section.
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Michael is the sole writer and owner at chartxgames.com.
Many thought that his youth (and adulthood) playing video games was a waste of time but here he is writing about them for a living.
Michael has a background in IT and enjoys (apart from video games) building and repairing PC’s, digital artwork (Photoshop, 3DS Max) and has interests in too many subjects to mention.