A co-founder of Rockstar Games and a key creative behind the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption series, Dan Houser left the studio early last year due to undisclosed reasons, briefly vanishing from the gaming scene. Now, the veteran game designer has made his reappearance again by registering a new video game studio in the UK.
Houser registered a new company in the UK, called Absurd Ventures in Games, which was officially incorporated on June 23, according to the thread posted on resetera.com. French publication Rockstar Mag was first to spot the news of Houser’s listing on Companies House, which is the UK’s registrar of companies. According to the listings, Absurd Ventures in Games’ nature of business is listed as “ready-made interactive leisure and entertainment software development,” which, alongside the company’s name, suggests that it could be another game development studio.
However, this isn’t the only company Houser registered after his departure from Rockstar Games. He registered a separate company in the US called Absured Venture LLC and Absurd Ventures in Games LLC on February 17, 2021, suggesting that the company’s focus might not entirely rest on the video games production. The previously registered US branch is based in Delaware and is the named owner of all 100 shares for the UK-based part of the Absurd Ventures in Games.
The co-founder of Rockstar Games is named as the director of the UK company, without any other associated staff at the moment. Furthermore, the company’s registered office is that of Oakwood Corporate Services, which provides secretarial duties and corporate governance or thousands of other companies. This indicates that the UK-based Absurd Ventures in Games still has no fixed headquarters location.
Dan Houser took an extended break from Rockstar Games in early 2019, with subsequent announcement that he’s leaving the company, with his final day being March 11, 2021. Neither Houser nor Rockstar Games elaborated Houser’s extended break or subsequent departure. Sam Houser, Dan’s brother and co-founder, stayed on at Rockstar with his role unchanged. But why would Dan leave one of the biggest game development studios at one of the highest roles to form another gaming development studio?
Well, many believe that Rockstar Games lost most of its creative freedoms it once had, taking more conservative approaches to game titles with each new release. Not to mention that the studio isn’t actually producing new IPs, relying primarily on their prominent franchises, Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto – which still awaits its sixth installment. Let’s not forget that these releases sold over 150 million copies.
Houser was a key figure behind many of Rockstar Games’ most successful titles, often being directly involved in their development through writing or co-writing. All games in the Grand Theft Auto franchise and Red Dead Redemption series, which currently has movie adaptation in development, were written by Hauser. He’s listed in Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people list and described as doing the work of Tom Wolfe, Balzac, or Dickens. Let’s hope he continues doing good work in his new game development studio.