Red Dead Redemption

It’s no secret that Houser helped preside over one of the most successful developers in gaming history. Between the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead games, Rockstar has pulled in massive sales — in some cases thriving with titles that are several years old. Unlike some co-creators of very large studios, though, he still had a more direct hand in producing games. He was an executive producer and writer for Red Dead Redemption 2, for instance.

His commitment got him in trouble in recent years. When he boasted of 100-hour work weeks for RDR2, that led many to think he was referring to the entire studio. He later clarified that he was only referring to the senior writing team, but the initial statement led many to worry that Rockstar (and many other developers) was fostering an unhealthy work climate.

Rockstar won’t be in dire straits without Houser. It has a much larger team than it did when it was founded in 1998, and his brother will still play a key role. This could influence Rockstar’s game design process, though, even if it’s unlikely to make a radical change any time soon.