Take-Two recently announced the imminent departure of Rockstar Games Co-founder Dan Houser, who will exit the studio on March 11th. Following the announcement, the publisher’s stock dropped by nearly seven percent. Of course, social media has weighed in as well. Some fans are voicing concern over Rockstar’s creative future, considering Houser served as lead writer on projects such as GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2. Take-Two, however, insists all is fine. Rockstar seems as healthy as ever, and no further departures are anticipated.
Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two’s CEO, told investors in an earnings call that Rockstar has “never been stronger.” His confidence appears to stem from Sam Houser’s remaining in his role as studio President. Since Dan’s extended leave began in early 2019, Sam has led the company. Given that Rockstar titles steadily outperform expectations, Take-Two seemingly has little to worry about. After all, GTA V and Red Dead 2 alone now sit at a combined 150 million copies sold.
The CEO also spoke on Rockstar’s stability going forward, noting that Sam Houser’s commitment isn’t wavering.
In terms of team stability, Sam Houser is president of Rockstar Games. He founded Rockstar Games, he’s a great player coach and he leads a team of thousands of people every day who are trying to make the most extraordinary entertainment experiences known to man. Those are their goals and more often than not they achieve or even exceed those goals, which is just amazing.
I don’t typically speak for other people, but I confidently can speak and say that Sam is highly committed to the organization and he and I work very closely together. It’s an enormous pleasure to be able to be in business with Sam and the entire team at Rockstar.
As a whole, Rockstar never ceases to innovate, Zelnick praised, sharing his pride in “how effectively that label is operating.” All things considered, he added, “things couldn’t be better.” Lastly, Zelnick addressed the potential of future departures. “And to be very specific, no, we don’t expect other departures.”
Outside of the big year ahead for GTA Online and Red Dead Online, Rockstar’s future endeavors are under wraps. Rumors about GTA 6 and a potential Bully sequel suggest the studio is working on more than one project, but as with all things unannounced, nothing is confirmed at this time.
[Source: Video Games Chronicle]