Michael Unsworth, a senior writer at Rockstar Games who has worked on some of the company’s biggest hits, appears to have left the famous developer after 16 years. He joins a growing list of veteran Rockstar employees who have departed the company over the last few years.
Rockstar Games—the developer and publisher behind mega-blockbuster games like Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption II--is a studio known (for better and for worse) as having its own unique and distinct identity. And many assumed that specific “brand” came from the long-running employees at the company’s top. So it is interesting to see yet another Rockstar vet leave the storied studio before the release of its next massive project, Grand Theft Auto VI.
According to a recent update on the writer’s LinkedIn page, as first spotted by SWEGTA on August 26, Unsworth has seemingly left Rockstar Games. He had been the company’s vice president of writing. Before holding that position he was the senior creative writer and then writing director at Rockstar Games, where he worked on the scripts for Red Dead Redemption II, Grand Theft Auto V, Max Payne 3, L.A. Noire, Red Dead Redemption, and Grant Theft Auto IV.
On Unsworth’s LinkedIn profile, you can now see that he left Rockstar sometime in 2023. His bio also indicates that he has indeed left the studio after over a decade and a half. Kotaku has contacted Rockstar Games about Unsworth’s departure.
The other Rockstar vets who have already left
While it’s not uncommon for longtime employees to leave companies, even successful ones, it has become a bit of a trend for Rockstar Games in the last few years. In 2020, both Lazlow Jones and Dan Houser left the popular studio. Jones was a longtime producer and writer who had been with Rockstar for nearly 20 years and worked on every GTA game since GTA III. Houser was the co-founder of Rockstar Games and had been a part of the company since 1998, touching nearly every game the company had ever published or developed.
In 2016, a few years before those departures, longtime Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies left the company after he claimed he was pushed out and filed a lawsuit against Rockstar. The suit ended in 2019 with a confidential settlement.
Looking online, you’ll see some fans nervous or worried about Rockstar’s future and what these departures will mean for GTA VI and future titles. However, change isn’t always a bad thing. Some of these guys had been around a long time and were probably ready to do something different. And as new folks take over Rockstar Games it could mean the company’s style evolves in positive ways, leading to better games that might come out sooner. One can hope.
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