Former GTA and Red Dead lead announces studio dedicated to "weird sh*t from desperate people"

Absurd Ventures
(Image credit: Absurd Ventures)

Dan Houser, Rockstar co-founder and lead writer for Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, has announced his new studio: Absurd Ventures.

Absurd Ventures is not a game development studio - instead, it's been built to "create new IP across all platforms and for all formats," according to a press release. "Absurd Ventures is 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."

A website for Absurd Ventures went up alongside today, and it's maybe the oddest business promotional site I've ever seen. A sidebar cycles through messages like "weird shit from desperate people," "finally, an American institution everybody can hate," and "polluting minds and damaging souls in every medium imaginable." Clearly, Houser has not lost sight of that questionably edgy GTA tone. Just take a look at this video.

While this is the public reveal of Absurd Ventures, it's not the first time we've heard the name. Back in 2021, a business listing noted Houser as the director of a company called Absurd Ventures in Games. It seems the studio has widened its view beyond the gaming world since then, however.

Dan Houser was one of the executives of BMG Interactive when it was acquired by Take-Two Interactive way back in 1998, and through the restructuring that followed, became one of the co-founders of Rockstar Games. Houser was a writer for most of the Grand Theft Auto series, eventually taking on head writing duties and defining the tone of the modern games. He similarly led the Red Dead Redemption games and Bully.

GTA 6 will be coming to us without Houser's involvement.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.