According to the BBC and this filing with the SEC, Dan Houser, one of the co-founders of Rockstar Games, is leaving the company effective March 11, 2020. This departure comes after an “extended break” that started in the spring of 2019.
Dan Houser is Vice President to his brother Sam, who will remain as the company’s President after Dan’s departure. He is also a lead writer on the Grand Theft Auto game series as well as the Red Dead Redemption and Bully series.
Rockstar’s games have caused controversy, and so has the studio with the way it treats its employees. During the production of Red Dead Redemption 2, Dan told Vulture that employees were working “100 hour weeks” several times during 2018.
No specific reason was given as to why Houser is leaving, but if I were to guess I’d say it has to do with the crunch culture of the studio. His departure will undoubtedly have lasting effects on the studio for its content as well as its atmosphere. Only time will tell how long Sam stays as President and what the future holds for Rockstar now that one if its creative masterminds is leaving the fold.