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Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Co-Creator Dan Houser Has Likely Founded a New Studio

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Last year, Rockstar Games suffered a major creative blow when it was announced Dan Houser was leaving the company after over two decades. Houser started Rockstar Games with his brother Sam back in 1998, and he remained deeply immersed in the studio’s creative output in the years following, serving as lead writer and creative director of every Grand Theft Auto game since GTA 2, the Red Dead Redemption games, Bully, Max Payne 3, and more. The reason for Dan Houser’s departure was never made clear, and many assumed he was retiring from the games industry altogether, but it seems that’s not the case.

Recently eagle-eyed fans at GTA Forums discovered Dan Houser had registered a new UK company called Absurd Ventures in Games as of June 23. Some further digging found Houser also registered an American company, Absurd Ventures LLC, in February of this year. Houser is listed as the “director” of the UK company. Per its registration, Absurd Ventures in Games will focus on “ready-made interactive leisure and entertainment software development,” which sure sounds like a video game studio to me.

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Dan Houser has yet to announce any of this officially, but it certainly seems like his return to the video game industry is imminent, which raises a lot of questions. If Houser still wanted to make games, why did he leave a prestigious studio like Rockstar where he had almost complete creative control? What kind of games might he be making at Absurd Ventures? Will he try to replicate the grand open-word narrative-heavy titles of the past or will he make something smaller and more experimental? I don’t see him making another RDR2 on his own, but hey, who knows?

What do you think? What do you think Houser might be cooking up? Interested in something new from the mind behind Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption?

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