One of the original co-founders of Rockstar Games, Dan Houser, is officially stepping down from his post on March 11th. The reveal was made as a result of an SEC form filing published by Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar’s parent company. It also announced that Houser has been on “an extended break” since spring of 2019. No explanation was given regarding the departure.
“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,” reads the document.
The news arrives after Rockstar announced its biggest holiday season in the online worlds of GTA Online and Red Dead Online. It also raises the specter of Dan Houser’s boast of 100-hour work weeks in order to get Red Dead Redemption 2 out of the door. That remark spurred a number of discussions across the wider gaming world regarding game dev treatment and the problems of crunch culture, with several Rockstar employees speaking out about the matter, both in anonymous testimony and “permitted” discussions as well as one possibly sneaky reference to crunch in RDR2 itself.
Take-Two Interactive has so far declined to comment further, though it did confirm that co-founder Sam Houser would remain at his position within Rockstar.