Without Dan Houser, the current Rockstar wouldn’t exist, as his creativity was used in several games.
The Houser brothers, Sam and Dan, founded Rockstar Games in 1998, and since Grand Theft Auto 2, Dan Houser was the lead writer and creative director of all the GTA titles, but he also had similar roles in the Red Dead games, Bully, and Max Payne 3. However, he has departed the company, and there is no official reasoning behind his leave. It felt like he retired from the gaming industry, as he has done several games that will become memorable for many players.
On GTA Forums, the users have discussed that on June 23, Houser has registered a company in the United Kingdom. It is called Absurd Ventures in Games (and he’s its director). After some more digging, it turns out that Houser has also registered a company across the pond, so the United States has Absurd Ventures LLC and Absurd Ventures in Games LLC.
According to the registration, Absurd Ventures in Games will focus on „ready-made interactive leisure and entertainment software development,” which sounds a lot like a game development studio. Sure, Houser hasn’t officially announced anything yet, but it’s a question of time when he will come back to the gaming industry, but it brings us to the question: why did he leave Rockstar?
Will Absurd Ventures continue Rockstar’s bigger open-world game development, or will it focus on smaller, experimental titles? The latter seems realistic because while Houser does have a lot of money in the bank, a bigger game would require a Take-Two sized publisher, as opening a new studio out of nowhere is not a cheap thing. At least Houser will have 100% creative freedom here.
All we can do now is wait for the official announcement. The first game is years away, so let’s not think of that just yet.