GTA veteran says other games struggle to be funny as comedy doesn't "make a lot of sense in them," but it works for Rockstar because each entry tries to "satirize a specific location and time"

Grand Theft Auto character and developer Lazlow Jones as shown in game art
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

As comedy seems to remain a largely untouched genre for many developers, former Rockstar Games writer Lazlow Jones describes why he thinks that is - and how the Grand Theft Auto series manages to maintain its own iconic humor.

Following his departure from Rockstar Games after nearly two decades of work on acclaimed series like GTA and Red Dead Redemption, Lazlow Jones joined co-founder Dan Houser at a new studio - Absurd Ventures. During the legendary producer and writer's career at Rockstar, Jones played a critical role in shaping games' worlds as well as the unique comedic flair fans remember them for - the quirky dialogue, satirization of American society, and more.

Speaking in an interview with Kinda Funny Games, Jones explains how such humor fits into Rockstar's games and why other studios seem to struggle with incorporating comedy. "I think it helps that each of those games was meant to satirize a specific location and time," the dev says, referring to the GTA series. As for other games not similarly trying to be funny and why a comical side doesn't seem to come through as easy for many, Jones states that comedy just "wouldn't make a ton of sense in them."

Games like GTA and Red Dead Redemption don't only offer entirely serious, straightforward experiences - that's what sets them apart. Jones says that Rockstar "always wanted to fill the world with as much stuff for people to be distracted by" while playing, whether that be Easter eggs or miscellaneous activities: "You sort of forget that 'I'm supposed to be doing a mission, I ended up in the casino for an hour.'"

Jones concludes that the devs "love to build huge worlds and tell stories in them." While the mastermind writer isn't at Rockstar anymore himself, GTA 6 is in the works for its monumental 2025 release and will hopefully balance humorous moments as well as its predecessors did. As for Jones' new studio Absurd Ventures and its projects, an "open-world action-adventure game" is said to be underway.

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Anna Koselke
Staff Writer

After spending years with her head in various fantastical realms' clouds, Anna studied English Literature and then Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh, going on to specialize in narrative design and video game journalism as a writer. She has written for various publications since her postgraduate studies, including Dexerto, Fanbyte, GameSpot, IGN, PCGamesN, and more. When she's not frantically trying to form words into coherent sentences, she's probably daydreaming about becoming a fairy druid and befriending every animal or she's spending a thousand (more) hours traversing the Underdark in Baldur's Gate 3. If you spot her away from her PC, you'll always find Anna with a fantasy book, a handheld video game console of some sort, and a Tamagotchi or two on hand.