Rockstar Games co-founder launches new studio, Absurd Ventures

Dan Houser left Rockstar Games in 2020, after more than two decades working as a writer and producer.
dan houser rockstar games absurd ventures

Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser has announced the launch of a new game development and entertainment studio, known as Absurd Ventures. Per a press release shared by journalist and host Geoff Keighley, Absurd Ventures will focus on ‘building narrative worlds, creating characters, and writing stories for a diverse variety of genres, without regard to medium’.

The studio plans to create new works in the video game realm, as well as via ‘live-action and animation … and other interactive content; books, graphic novels, and scripted podcasts’. It will likely leverage Houser’s experience and tenure at Rockstar Games, and his time working on some of the largest and most successful games of all time.

Houser spent over two decades at Rockstar Games after co-founding the studio with his brother and several others. During this time, he served as the lead writer on several award-winning projects, including Bully, Red Dead Redemption, and the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

Read: ACMI’s Out of Bounds exhibit explored the literal boundaries of play

Since Absurd’s announcement, a new website and teaser video has launched, giving some indication about the scope and future of the company.

In the video, you can spot a number of surreal scenes – a man standing in forest wearing a white outfit, stock footage of people laughing and cheering, clips of strange beings and car crash tests, war imagery, religious gatherings, zombies dancing, a man kissing a doorknob, and plenty more besides. It’s extremely strange, and indicates Absurd Ventures will lean heavily into its name.

A closing slogan reveals the studio is premised on: ‘Storytelling. Philanthropy. Ultraviolence.’

The first projects from Absurd Ventures are yet to be announced, but we’ll likely hear more from the studio as it matures. For now, it appears Houser and his new team are reaching for ambitious creativity in their approach – but we’ll have to stay patient to see what’s cooking, and how this strange teaser video pans out.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.