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Rockstar Games' Dan Houser forms transmedia studio Absurd Ventures

Houser makes a semi-return to game development with a studio that plans to spin out its projects into other media like podcasts and animation.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

June 15, 2023

1 Min Read
Logo for transmedia company Absurd Ventures.

Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser has formally announced his new studio, Absurd Ventures. If that sounds familiar, it's because he registered a company under that same name in both the UK and US back in 2021, a year after he departed the Grand Theft Auto developer. 

Per the press release, Absurd Ventures is both a game developer and a larger transmedia studio. It plans to release projects for "live-action and animation; video games and other interactive content; books, graphic novels, and scripted podcasts."

Houser left Rockstar in 2020. Last year announced he had joined the advisory board for blockchain developer Revolving Games

At time of writing, Absurd Ventures hasn't announced a specific project in development. 

All aboard the transmedia train 

Cryptic as the studio currently is, Absurd Ventures openly billing itself as a transmedia studio gives an idea to its larger ambitions. And having Houser's name to throw around may help make those dreams a reality. 

Transmedia efforts have been going on in the game industry for some time now. But the billion dollar success of Nintendo's Super Mario Movie, and the growing number of video game adaptations (usually from Netflix) show that games are to the 2020s what comic books were to the 2010s. 

Earlier this week, for example, Motion Twin announced Dead Cells would become an animated series with a 2024 release. 

Some properties have been more fruitful than others, and see varying degrees of success in different mediums. And this would be a first for Houser, since none of Rockstar's big franchisesGrand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, and Bullyhave become film or TV projects, despite attempts to do so. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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