Dan Houser, who co-founded Rockstar Games and was the lead writer on multiple Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption games, has finally revealed what his new studio is working on. If you were expecting a video game…well, you’ll have to keep waiting.
In early 2020, Dan Houser left Rockstar Games following the release of Red Dead Redemption II. Then, in June 2023, Houser announced his new studio, Absurd Ventures, with the aim to produce multimedia projects spread across video games, TV, film, and comics. Rockstar veterans Lazlow Jones and Michael Unsworth, who left the company after Houser’s departure, are also a part of this new multimedia company. And now, we finally know what Absurd Ventures’ first projects will be and no, you aren’t getting a GTA-like game or Bully successor anytime soon.
Announced on November 29, Absurd Ventures is working on American Caper and A Better Paradise. The studio describes these projects as “original storytelling universes.” The plan is for characters and stories from these universes to debut in comics and audio dramas, respectively.
What are these new projects from Dan Houser?
American Caper is focused on two “normal, badly damaged” American families caught in a world of “corrupt business,” crime, and “inept” politicians. The first project set in this new universe will be a graphic novel illustrated by comic book artist Simon Bisley.
Absurd Ventures’ other IP is A Better Paradise, which it describes as an “existential suspense thriller” set in the “near future.” The first project from this other universe will be a 12-episode “audio fiction series” and it is currently in production.
Both this and the American Caper comic book are planned to launch in 2024.
“We are excited to introduce these two universes, and their characters and lore,” said Houser in a press release announcing the projects. “They represent our approach to storytelling and media. These initial releases will allow us to introduce these universes at the same time as we are working on other iterations and expansions. This is just the beginning.”
According to a press release, Houser’s company is currently working on a “wide range” of projects, including animation, video games, graphic novels, audio fiction, “and more.” Absurd Ventures confirmed that more info about these new franchises will be coming in the months ahead.
For folks who were excited to see what Houser and co’s next big video game project would be following GTA and Red Dead, it looks like that’s not happening right now. However, the description of American Caper’s universe sounds pretty GTA-like to me, and maybe one day an open-world game from Absurd Ventures will be set there. For now though, it’s comics and podcasts.
Meanwhile, the company Houser helped form and lead for decades will release the first official trailer for the long-anticipated Grand Theft Auto VI next month, possibly at the Game Awards.
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