Absurd Ventures: a new, erm, venture from Rockstar Games’ Dan Houser

Absurd Ventures logo

Absurd Ventures will provide ‘Storytelling, philanthropy and ultraviolence’ – courtesy of Dan Houser, from one of the minds behind Grand Theft Auto.


Dan Houser left Rockstar Games back in 2020, and now we finally have an idea of what he’s going to do next.

Houser spent more than 20 years at Rockstar, which he co-founded back in 1998 as a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive. The company would take DMA Design’s top-down Grand Theft Auto games and help to catapult them into the third dimension with Grand Theft Auto III. DMA Design’s Edinburgh studio was renamed Rockstar North, and the rest is history, with Grand Theft Auto going on to become one of the best-selling gaming franchises on the planet.

Absurd Ventures is the name of Houser’s new company, and according to the press release (via Geoff Keighley), it will be “building narrative worlds, creating characters, and writing stories for a diverse 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.”

Dan Houser worked as a writer on the Red Dead Redemption games and almost all of the Grand Theft Auto games from III onwards, and from the sounds of it, Absurd Ventures will be offering writing services to all and sundry. The company is registered in Cheshire in the UK, and has launched a cryptic website with all sorts of esoteric slogans floating about.

Read more: The chaotic origins of Grand Theft Auto

There’s an option to sign up for a mailing list, but otherwise little information to go on, save for a short video that acts as a mood piece. The video is very much in the style of an Adam Curtis documentary, and I think we can be fairly certain that Dan is a fan of landmark series such as All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.

We’re left with the message: “Storytelling. Philanthropy. Ultraviolence.” Storytelling seems fairly obvious, and ultraviolence is very much in the vein of Houser’s previous work on GTA. But philanthropy? It will be interesting to see how that ties in with Absurd Ventures’ plans.

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