Rockstar Games Co-Founder Dan Houser Launches New Studio, Absurd Ventures

Rockstar Games Co-Founder Dan Houser Launches New Studio, Absurd Ventures

Rockstar Games co-founder and Grand Theft Auto writer Dan Houser has announced Absurd Ventures, a new narrative studio focused on creating stories for video games and a variety of other mediums.

It’s the first time Houser has officially attached himself to the studio and shared more on its mission after filing incorporation documents in the United Kingdom for the company in 2021.

A website and social media channels for Absurd Ventures were launched today, alongside a press statement and an oddball teaser video for the studio. The two-minute video, comprised of what looks like old stock and original, absurdist footage, seems to set the tone for Absurd Ventures’ work going forward.

It’s a bit of a fever dream to watch the whole way through, and it’s anyone’s guess whether the footage included is a nod to any of the studio’s upcoming work –  the disclaimer that the piglets feeding were paid actors, not actual staff was a nice touch. The chaotic launch video ends with the tagline, “Storytelling. Philanthropy. Ultraviolence.”

In the accompanying press release, Absurd Ventures is described as “building narrative worlds, creating characters, and writing stories for a diverse variety of genres, without regard to medium.” The release goes on to elaborate on the different platforms the studio will dabble in creating narratives for, including video games (of course), live-action and animation productions, as well as books, graphic novels, and scripted podcasts.

Houser started Rockstar Games in 1998 with his brother, Sam. He was a writer on almost every Grand Theft Auto game, as well as every Red Dead Redemption instalment so far. He was also the executive producer of Red Dead Redemption 1 & 2 and Red Dead Online (so we have him to thank in part for enabling us to live out our horse girl/cowboy dreams online). 

Rockstar’s parent company Take-Two Interactive announced Houser’s departure from the company in 2020, noting in the Q3 2020 financial report that he would be leaving after an extended break in the spring of 2019 after Red Dead Redemption 2’s 2018 release. His brother remains at Rockstar Games in his original capacity.

While Absurd Ventures has yet to announce any projects, let’s hope they’re as whacky as that launch video, with a little bit of that Rockstar Games flavour sprinkled on top. Given the official announcement today, further details are likely not far off for what Dan Houser and his team will do next.

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