Dan Houser is one of the longest running stalwarts at Rockstar Games and responsible for a lot of the company’s narrative DNA, having been the lead writer and creative director for games like on Red Dead Redemption 2, GTA 5 and Bully, not to mention the co-founder of the company. But that run is coming to an end, with Rockstar announcing Houser’s departure.
In a filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Take-Two announced that Dan Houser, whose main role is the vice president of creative at Rockstar, would be leaving on March 11:
After an extended break beginning in the spring of 2019, Dan Houser, Vice President, Creative at Rockstar Games, will be leaving the company. Dan Houser’s 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.
It’s impossible to overstate Houser’s influence on Rockstar and where it is today. The Houser brothers are the co-founders of Rockstar, and they were responsible for coining Grand Theft Auto, having signed DMA Design’s Race’n’Chase to BMG Interactive at the time. (After GTA 1‘s release, the Houser brothers moved to New York and founded Rockstar.)
More recently, Houser was in the news following the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, which spent seven years in development. Houser made headlines following a New York Magazine interview where he suggested the company was working “100 hour-weeks” in 2018, which he later clarified in a statement to Kotaku. “After working on the game for seven years, the senior writing team, which consists of four people, Mike Unsworth, Rupert Humphries, Lazlow and myself, had, as we always do, three weeks of intense work when we wrapped everything up. Three weeks, not years,” Houser’s statement said.