It is now announced that Dan Houser will no longer be part of Rockstar Games as of March 11. Yes, that Dan Houser, the founder of the software house with his brother Sam, a personality who, despite the dozens of awards received, has always kept himself out of the spotlight.
Author and producer of all major Rockstar IP addresses, from Grand Theft Auto to Canis Canem Edit, finally to Red Dead and Max Payne 3, Dan Houser has been counted several times in the ranking of the greatest video game authors of all. time. The Houser brothers even ranked in the top section of the most influential people of 2009 according to the New York Times, just as Grand Theft Auto V was on its way to becoming the highest-grossing entertainment product in history.
In short, that of Dan Houser is a signing that has proven to be so effective that it balances critical favor with commercial success, dealing with sensitive issues fearlessly and irreversibly influencing the work culture within Rockstar Games, to both positively and negatively.
Jason Schreier, a well-known Kotaku reporter, recently said that working conditions at the company have improved significantly compared to April 2019, when Dan Houser started what was only to be a sabbatical year. In fact, many attributed the long period of crisis that marked the development of Red Dead Redemption 2 to Houser’s perfectionism.
On the other hand, the finished product turned out to be a masterpiece on several fronts, as well as one of the biggest blockbusters ever made by the video game industry. While this description can be incorporated into various titles from Rockstar Games, the latest Wild West adventure is now destined to become the summary of Houser’s work, especially in the role of a writer.
How will Rockstar change after losing a figure of its caliber? The first thought is for GTA VI, a title that we can now define almost imminent, as well as intended to cope with the very heavy legacy of its predecessors. Well, just a few years ago, speaking of the new chapter in the saga, Dan Houser said that he “had a hard time imagining anything new because American reality is starting to overcome all the disguises.”
But let’s go back for a moment to the years before Take Two Interactive exploded on the stock market, before GTA V made nearly $ 3 billion, before Arthur Morgan and the Dutch group made up for the perfect score reviews. When Rockstar Games wasn’t even an idea in his mind, Dan Houser and his brother Sam attempted to break into the world of music production, cultivating British hip-hop through giant BGM.
Destiny wanted the two young rebels to get involved in Take Two’s acquisition of the BGM Interactive segment, a small subsidiary that has developed forgettable titles for Sega Saturn. When the deal was made, the two brothers asked the board to transform the company into Rockstar Games, in order to set up a small independent developer who was trying to push beyond the borders of the American market.
What neither Take Two nor the “Hauser brothers” could imagine is that the first published IP would not only have become an immortal giant, but even a true creative manifesto. When Grand Theft Auto debuted in the market, many countries, including France, slammed the doors before the product even before a single copy could be sold, with the side effect of generating interest in the product. title. .
According to Dan Houser, Grand Theft Auto was not born as a representation of America but of “the Americana”, or how the American dream is “sold” to the world, with all the clichés and contradictions of the case. It’s a world of stereotypes that the writer-led team have managed to turn into a very sharp sounding board, taking on the subtle irony that has made acclaimed series like The Simpsons so successful over the years.
Gratuitous violence, the criminal world, drugs, sex, alcohol and shootings have become the foundations of the action which has over the years been the backdrop to harsh social and economic criticisms, unfortunately often overlooked. second plan in the eyes of the general press. The Houser brothers have always smiled at criticism, even when Clinton launched a bitter campaign against GTA, even when Manhunt risked ending the ban while Saw: The Guesser dominated movie weekends.
In short, with the success of the flag saga, Dan Houser became the worst nightmare of all American “boomers”: a figure who liked to politically heal politically correct and social conventions, in addition to having a huge influence on the youth. . This is the essence of the writer that we have learned through his projects, at least until the unexpected change of course that marked Red Dead Redemption 2.
After the announcement of the abandonment of the company, the adventure of Arthur Morgan can be interpreted even more as the creative will of Dan Houser, as a “redemption” which, in addition to the protagonists and the public, has even involved the author. It’s rather ironic that his latest story tells the story of a murderer who dreams of stopping killing, getting rid of the gun once and for all, drawing a clear line between good and evil.
Unfortunately, there is no certainty as to the reasons for the resignation, and we are only fictitious as to an abandonment intended to have a significant impact on the operations of the company. Rockstar Games is losing its greatest creativity, as well as one of only two characters who have firmly maintained control over the entire development process, from concept to final repositories.
It is more than plausible that its imprint has already deeply marked the soul of Grand Theft Auto VI, just as it is assumed that the loss of its characteristic perfectionism ends up improving the working conditions within the software house. On the other hand, to abandon the ship, it is the man who signed the two biggest successes of the publisher’s portfolio, and who distances himself while their remains are still hot.
It might not be a long list like Miyamoto’s kids, but Rockstar finds itself forced to say hello to Arthur Morgan’s dad, John Marston, Tommy Vercetti, Jimmy Hopkins and Carl Johnson, not to mention the forward- last triad of protagonists among which Trevor Phillips stands out. On the other hand, he left a company now tempered by the fire of dozens of masterpieces, a large number of studies accustomed to networking and certainly aware of the stylistic imprint of the brand.
You could argue that the crew are now self-sufficient, that historical irreverence will not be reduced, that Rockstar Games seems destined to overcome one version after another, regardless of who is at the helm.
But the truth is that he will have to do without the greatest captain in the entire panorama of the contemporary market, with a signature which, although severe and demanding, has been a guarantee of excellence for twenty years.
Source: Twitter Feeds