Dan Houser, co-founder of Rockstar Games and the lead writer on multiple Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption games, has revealed what his new studio is working on. However, if you were expecting a video game, you’ll have to keep waiting.
In early 2020, Dan Houser left Rockstar Games after the release of Red Dead Redemption II. Then in June 2023, Houser announced his new studio, Absurd Ventures. The studio includes Rockstar veterans Lazlow Jones and Michael Unsworth.
This new multimedia company will not be working on a GTA-like game or Bully successor.
Announced on November 29, Absurd Ventures is working on American Caper and A Better Paradise. These projects are described as “original storytelling universes.” The characters and stories from these universes will debut in comics and audio dramas.
What are these new projects from Dan Houser?
American Caper focuses on two “normal, badly damaged” American families caught in a world of “corrupt business,” crime, and “inept” politicians. The first project in this universe will be a graphic novel illustrated by comic book artist Simon Bisley.
Absurd Ventures’ other IP is A Better Paradise, described as an “existential suspense thriller” set in the “near future.” The first project from this universe will be a 12-episode “audio fiction series.”
Both the American Caper comic book and A Better Paradise audio fiction series are planned to launch in 2024.
“We are excited to introduce these two universes, and their characters and lore,” said Houser in a press release. “They represent our approach to storytelling and media. These initial releases will allow us to introduce these universes at the same time as we are working on other iterations and expansions. This is just the beginning.”
According to a press release, Houser’s company is currently working on a “wide range” of projects, including animation, video games, graphic novels, audio fiction, “and more.” Absurd Ventures confirmed that more info about these new franchises will be coming in the months ahead.
For folks who were excited to see what Houser and co’s next big video game project would be following GTA and Red Dead, it looks like that’s not happening right now. However, the description of American Caper’s universe sounds pretty GTA-like to me, and maybe one day an open-world game from Absurd Ventures will be set there. For now though, it’s comics and podcasts.
Meanwhile, the company Houser helped form and lead for decades will release the first official trailer for the long-anticipated Grand Theft Auto VI next month, possibly at the Game Awards.