Rockstar co-founder and former GTA lead Dan Houser is making an “open-world action-adventure game” of his own at his new studio

Dan Houser, one of Rockstar’s co-founders and the former lead writer (among other roles) on both Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, announced a new studio called Absurd Ventures last year. We now know at least one concrete thing that the studio, proudly dedicated to making “weird shit from desperate people,” is working on, and yes, it’s a game that sounds a bit like GTA on paper.

Recent job listings at Absurd Ventures, like this lead gameplay designer position, specify “an open world action-adventure game” in the works. This is a pretty broad description for the genre, but the clearly video game-y nature is especially relevant because Absurd Ventures itself is even broader. 

Per the blurb at the bottom of the above job listing: “Absurd Ventures is building narrative worlds, creating characters, and writing stories for a variety of genres, without regard to medium, to be produced for live-action and animation; video games and other interactive content; books, graphic novels, and scripted podcasts.” In other words, it’s not all games. Last November, the studio revealed American Caper and A Better Paradise, “two universes” with their first stories coming in 2024. It’s unclear whether this open-world game is connected to either, but it’s definitely not coming in 2024. 

That said, the studio is clearly staffing up for a true-blue video game. Interestingly, that lead gameplay designer listing seems to be the only one that clearly spells out “an open-world action-adventure game.” The rest, like this listing for senior art director, are more general with their language, pointing to “the overall visual direction of our projects” and “visually stunning and cohesive game worlds that captivate players.” 

That lead gameplay designer listing also notes that “the person in this role will lead a team of multi-disciplinary specialists to deliver best-in-class combat and third-person action across multiple game modes.” Other details are thin on the ground, but this mystery project definitely sounds like something in Houser’s wheelhouse and, even if it is undoubtedly many years away, like something that GTA and Red Dead fans may want to put a pin in. 

As for the “weird shit from desperate people,” well, this is what the studio’s been up to on social media: 

pic.twitter.com/UOUCD0DkHRMay 14, 2024

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GTA 3 dev says that the open-world game’s “hardest technical challenge” was partially solved with careful city planning and some extra windy weather.

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