Rockstar Won’t See Any Other Major Departures Following Dan Houser’s Exit Insists Take-Two

Nathan Birch
Grand Theft Auto Rockstar

Earlier this week industry insiders and regular gamers alike were shocked to learn that Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser was preparing to leave the company. Mr. Houser started Rockstar Games with his brother Sam back in 1998, and has remained deeply immersed in the studio’s creative output ever since, 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. Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive has seen its stock plunge over 12 percent following the announcement of Houser’s departure.

Needless to say, investors were looking for answers about Dan Houser’s departure during Take-Two’s recent earnings call, and, unfortunately, we didn’t really get them. We still don’t know why he’s leaving, but Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick did offer assurances that Rockstar will continue under the solid leadership of Sam Houser…

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Dan Houser had been on an extended leave since early spring 2019. The company has been led since its founding by Sam Houser, who's President of the company, and it's an extraordinary team effort and Sam is a great player and coach. […] We're incredibly optimistic and excited. At the same time, we're grateful to Dan for his contributions, and we wish him well.

It also seems that Dan Houser’s departure is an isolated thing. Take-Two brass were confident Rockstar won’t be suffering any other high-profile exits.

In terms of team stability, Sam Hauser is President of Rockstar Games. He founded Rockstar Games. He's a great player coach and he leads the team of thousands of people every day who are trying to make the most extraordinary entertainment experiences known to man. [...] To be very specific, no, we certainly don't expect other departures. As an organization as a whole, we have an extraordinarily low rate of attrition, vastly lower than the industry average.

I’d still love to hear more about what exactly is going on with Dan Houser, but it seems we may never get that info through official channels. Take-Two obviously wants to put a happy face on all this and move on, but again, Dan Houser wasn’t just another exec – he was the main creative mind behind all of Rockstar’s biggest hits. Rockstar is rumored to have a number of projects on its plate, including Grand Theft Auto 6Bully 2, and a new IP set in medieval times -- it will be interesting to see how they turn out without the studio's longtime creative mastermind.

Again, what do you think? Will Rockstar continue to be Rockstar without Dan Houser?

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