GTA co-founder studio Absurd Ventures reveals first two projects

American Caper and A Better Paradise are the first two transmedia projects from Absurd Ventures, the studio led by Dan Houser.
Absurd Ventures - A Better Paradise - American Caper - Logos

Absurd Ventures, the new studio formed by Rockstar Games co-founder and GTA lead writer Dan Houser, staffed by a number of Rockstar veterans, has announced its first two “original storytelling universes” – American Caper and A Better Paradise.

The company had previously stated that it would build out new universes through various formats, including television series, scripted podcasts, and graphic novels, while also working on larger video game projects. “Games take a long time to produce and are very expensive … we mitigate that risk through smaller outputs on projects,’ said Chief Operating Officer Wendy Smith.

Read: GTA veterans join Rockstar Games founder Dan Houser at new studio

According to a press release from Absurd, American Caper will debut as a graphic novel illustrated by Simon Bisley (Heavy Metal, Lobo), while A Better Paradise will debut as a 12-part audio fiction series. Both are slated for release in 2024. The company said that “additional stories” from these universes are already in development for a “wide range of formats and platforms”.

In a provided statement from Houser, he said that the two universes “represent [Absurd’s] approach to storytelling and media. These initial releases will allow us to introduce these universes at the same time as we are working on other iterations and expansions.”

Here are the official synopses for the two projects:

AMERICAN CAPER centres on two normal, badly damaged American families in a world of corrupt business, inept politics and bungling crime. AMERICAN CAPER will debut as a graphic novel that is being illustrated by renowned comic book artist Simon Bisley.

A BETTER PARADISE is an existential suspense thriller, set in the near future. A 12-episode audio fiction series based on the A BETTER PARADISE universe is currently in production.  Absurd Ventures is partnering with award-winning audio company QCODE Media to co-produce the audio series.

Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran