Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser has announced he will be parting ways with the gaming studio he helped build, revealing on February 4 he would be leaving the company, putting a spanner in the works of rumored Grand Theft Auto 6.
From the global phenomenon that is the Grand Theft Auto series to the ever-popular Red Dead franchise, Rockstar Games is the studio behind a number of marquee titles in the gaming industry.
After helping guide the team for 22 years, serving as the lead writer on major projects such as Grand Theft Auto 5 and Max Payne 3, Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser is set to leave the company.
Just over 12 months after the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, and seemingly in the midst of development on the next installment in the GTA franchise, Houser returned from a lengthy break and announced he would be parting ways with the company he helped establish in 1998.
“After an extended break beginning in the spring of 2019, Dan Houser, Vice President, Creative at Rockstar Games, will be leaving the company,” the game company announced in a February 4 statement.
“[His] 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.”
Having grown from a small team in 1998 to housing over 2,000 employees across eight headquarters around the world in 2020, Rockstar Games has become synonymous with the open-world genre.
GTA V for instance, currently sits as the third best-selling video game of all time with over 115 million units sold throughout its seven-year lifespan.
Countless job listings from various Rockstar studios around the globe, as well as numerous leaks in recent months, have all indicated that GTA VI is well into its development. Having served as the lead-writer on GTA V, it’s undeniable that Houser’s departure will leave an indelible mark on the company moving forward.
There’s no discerning the motive behind Houser’s decision just yet. After 22 years of developing some of the most iconic titles in the industry, it will be fascinating to see a Rockstar title without his touch.
With the reveal of GTA VI appearing to draw closer every day, however, there’s no denying his absence will cause major ripple effects throughout Rockstar Games as they brace for another huge, global release.