Houser's new company isn't quite as straightforward as it seems, however.
Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser is setting up a new company called Absurd Ventures in Games--or perhaps he isn’t. Speculation that the Grand Theft Auto writer was venturing back into the games industry began when Video Games Chronicle reported on the registration filing for the business.
However, a few mysteries surround Houser’s possible new company.
As VGC reported, Absurd Ventures in Games’ listed address in the U.K. is the same as Oakwood Corporate Services. Oakwood is an advisory company that works with, among others, Companies House Filing, the entity that registers new businesses in the United Kingdom.
There’s also an Absurd Ventures U.S. office based in Delaware that Houser registered in February, 2021. The newlisting has the U.S. office as the sole shareholder and Oakwood Corporate Services asone of two officersfor Absurd Ventures in Games.
Odd as it may seem on the surface, there’s likely more to it than simply listing a company secretary in an important position. For one, Houser remains the only person with a controlling decision in Absurd Ventures In Games. Additionally, Oakwood’s directors, including Michael Harris, have substantial experience in corporate law and finance, so giving them a measure of responsibility in the fledgling company’s future isn’t quite so farfetched.
Whatever the story is, registering a company called Absurd Games that seemingly exists in a secretary services office sounds like something Houser would do.
“It's in our DNA to avoid doing what other companies are doing,” Houser told Japanese publication Famitsu about Rockstar’s philosophy in 2011. “Our mobile strategy is not at all different from our console strategy -- in other words, we don't have one. Our focus is purely on making games that we can be confident in the quality of. We've never made something because we felt it was a business opportunity or because we thought there was some niche in the marketplace we could fill.”
“I think the future for us is to continue doing new things," he continued. "Our games up to now have been different from any genre that existed at the time; we made new genres by ourselves with games like the GTA series. We didn't rely on testimonials in a business textbook to do what we've done.”
Houser continued practicing that philosophy at Rockstar until 2019. Following his work writing Red Dead Redemption 2--a project that, he said, meant 100-hour work weeks for him--he took an extended break from duties beginning in 2019. Houser remained out of the public eye until early in 2020, when Take-Two announced he had resigned his position, but that his brother, Sam Houser, would remain as Rockstar’s president.
At the time, Yahoo Finance data showed Take-Two’s share value dropped by $800 million, but the publisher has certainly recovered since then. In May 2021, Take-Two reported the most profitable quarter in its history. Shortly after, the company announced it had acquiredSerbian mobile developer Nordeusto expand its mobile sports offering. More recently, the GTA publisher bought the facial animation studio Dynamixyz, a formerly independent firm that had worked with Take-Two on Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption 2, and more.
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