Daniel Houser (born November 1973) is an English video game producer, writer, and voice actor, as well as the co-founder (along with his brother Sam) and former vice president of creativity for Rockstar Games. As well as producing video games, Houser was the head writer for Rockstar Games, being the lead for Bully (2006), Red Dead Redemption (2010) and Max Payne 3 (2012). He has also written, or co-written, almost all of the titles in the Grand Theft Auto series.
|Born||November 1973 (age 49)|
|Alma mater||St Paul's School, London|
University of Oxford
|Occupation(s)||Video game producer, writer, voice actor|
|Employer(s)||BMG Interactive (1995–1998)|
Rockstar Games (1998–2020)
Absurd Ventures LLC (2021–present)
|Known for||Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead|
|Family||Walter Houser (father)|
Geraldine Moffat (mother)
Sam Houser (brother)
|Awards||AIAS Hall of Fame Award (2014)|
Daniel Houser was born in London in November 1973, the son of British lawyer Walter Houser and actress Geraldine Moffat. Houser studied geography. Despite wanting to be musicians, both Houser and his brother Sam had a fascination with storytelling from a young age. Growing up near a video library in London, they watched many American crime and cult films and Spaghetti Westerns. Houser has stated he is a fan of Walter Hill's film The Warriors, and Rockstar Games went on to release a video game version of The Warriors in 2005. In 1995, Houser got a part-time job at BMG Interactive testing CD-ROMs; he became a full-time employee until 1996. Dan and Sam later became interested in a video game called Race'n'Chase which was being developed by DMA Design after getting a preview of the game. The Housers signed Race'n'Chase to BMG Interactive as the publisher and changed the name of the game to Grand Theft Auto. Following the sale of BMG Interactive to Take-Two in 1998, Houser and his brother moved with the company to New York, where they founded Rockstar Games. He has cited the 3D Mario and Zelda games on the Nintendo 64 as influences on his work.
Houser has been credited as a producer for five Grand Theft Auto games, and also worked as a writer and voice artist for the series. Despite the high profile of the Grand Theft Auto series, Houser and his brother have shied away from the celebrity spotlight, preferring to focus on the Rockstar Games brand rather than giving any one person the credit for the games' success. In 2009, both Dan and Sam Houser appeared in Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2009 list. In 2012, he bought a house in Brooklyn that once belonged to author Truman Capote.
In February 2020, Rockstar Games's parent company, Take-Two Interactive, announced Houser's resignation from Rockstar Games. He left Rockstar on 11 March 2020, following an extended break in 2019. In August 2020, he bought a $16.5 million estate in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. In February 2021, Houser registered two companies in Delaware: Absurd Ventures LLC and Absurd Ventures in Games LLC, the latter with a subsidiary based in Altrincham. Houser is listed as the company's producer and creative director. By September 2022, Houser joined the advisory board of Revolving Games, a blockchain game studio, after investing in a US$13.2 million funding round for the company; Houser met co-founder Saad Zaeem some years earlier to explore ideas, but they ultimately chose different projects, leading Houser to become an adviser and investor instead.
- Scullion, Chris (2 July 2021). "Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser has founded a new studio". Video Games Chronicle. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 2 July 2021. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
- Chaban, Matt (21 March 2012). "A Rockstar Record! Grand Theft Auto Creator Dan Houser Buys Truman Capote Mansion for $12.5 M." The New York Observer. Observer Media. Archived from the original on 15 February 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
- McClain, James (25 August 2020). "'Grand Theft Auto' Mastermind Dan Houser Skids Into $16.5 Million L.A. Estate". Variety. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
- "D.I.C.E Special Awards". Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
- Narcisse, Evan (3 May 2012). "The Max Payne Comics Will Explain Why Rockstar's Hard-Boiled Cop Is So Messed-Up". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 29 November 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- Stahie, Silviu (20 October 2005). "Rockstar's Position on Critics". Softpedia. Archived from the original on 21 March 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
- Suellentrop, Chris (9 November 2012). "Americana at Its Most Felonious". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
- Hill, Matt (7 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V: meet Dan Houser, architect of a gaming phenomenon". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- "28. Sam and Dan Houser | MediaGuardian 100 2010". The Guardian. 19 July 2010. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- Mckelvey, Ben (27 December 2012). "Meet The Brains Behind Grand Theft Auto". Stuff.co.nz. Archived from the original on 6 July 2021. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
- Gavaghan, Julian (14 November 2012). "Behind Grand Theft Auto V: The 'Rockstar' creators of gaming's cult hit". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on 17 November 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Schiesel, Seth (16 October 2005). "Gangs of New York". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
- Gifford, Kevin (26 October 2011). "Rockstar's Dan Houser: Big in Japan?". 1Up.com. Archived from the original on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
- McLaughlin, Rus; Thomas, Lucas M. (6 May 2013). "The History of Grand Theft Auto". IGN. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
- Suellentrop, Chris (10 November 2012). "Americana at Its Most Felonious". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
- Lynch, Gerald (5 February 2020). "GTA 6 loses long-time writer and Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser". TechRadar. Archived from the original on 6 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
- P., Ryan (18 May 2012). "Gaming Gods: Dan and Sam Houser". The Gamer's Hub. Archived from the original on 20 May 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Selman, Matt (30 April 2009). "Sam and Dan Houser – The 2009 Time 100". Time. Archived from the original on 26 August 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Dutton, Fred (21 March 2012). "Rockstar boss buys Truman Capote's New York mansion". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 23 November 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- Campbell, Colin (4 February 2020). "Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser leaving the company". Polygon. Archived from the original on 18 September 2020. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
- Faulkner, Cameron (4 February 2020). "Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser is leaving the company". The Verge. Archived from the original on 6 July 2021. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
- Ivan, Tom (12 September 2022). "Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser invests in blockchain games studio, joins its advisory board". Video Games Chronicle. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 12 September 2022. Retrieved 14 September 2022.
- Takahashi, Dean (9 September 2022). "Revolving Games raises $13.2M to make blockchain games with ex-Rockstar cofounder Dan Houser as an adviser". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on 9 September 2022. Retrieved 14 September 2022.
- Phillips, Tom (15 October 2018). "Rockstar attempts to defuse 100-hour work week controversy amid storm of criticism". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 16 October 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.