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Prior to leaving, Unsworth wrote for many of Rockstar's big hits, including Grand Theft Auto V and Max Payne 3.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

August 28, 2023

2 Min Read
Michael, Trevor, and Franklin in promo art for Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V.

Over the weekend, it was discovered that Mike Unsworth, the vice president of writing for Rockstar Games, had left the studio. 

Unsworth updated his LinkedIn account to show his exit from the Grand Theft Auto developer sometime earlier this year. As far as his next place of employment, or why he's elected to leave Rockstar after 16 years, both are currently unknown. 

He first joined Rockstar in 2007 as a senior creative writer. Throughout the years, he progressed up the ranks until his VP position. As shown on his LinkedIn, his credits include Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption II, Max Payne 3, and LA Noire

At time of writing, Grand Theft Auto VI is not listed among his resume. 

Studios have been losing veterans left and right this year

The game industry is no stranger to high-profile departures, and Unsworth's leave from Rockstar comes amid a string of long-tenured employees leaving their developers.

Last week, it was announced that longtime BioWare writers Mary Kirby and Lukas Kristjanson were among the 50 staff members laid off. Both Kirby and Kristjanson were with the Mass Effect developer for decades: Kristjanson lead writing on the first two Baldur's Gate games, and Kirby contributed to all the mainline Dragon Age titles.

Earlier in the year, the same studio lost fellow veteran writers Jay Watamaniuk and Mac Walters

Outside of BioWare, Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries lost a pair of its own old head staff in the form of Joe Staten (creative director for Infinite) and Frank O'Connor (franchise director). Firaxis, developer of Marvel's Midnight Suns, lost studio head Steve Martin and creative director Jake Solomon in February.

Not all of these departures are equal, and many of them were likely not fully voluntary. But their leaving affects their respective studios in different ways, most of all being the history that goes when they do.

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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