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Rockstar founder Sam Houser gives his two cents on ‘GTA V’

The man responsible for creating Rockstar gave a rare interview about the trials and tribulations of developing games as epic and grandiose as Grand Theft Auto.


The founder of Rockstar, Sam Houser, is not someone who likes the spotlight. Houser shies away from the media and lets his games do all the talking. Recently though, the man most responsible for the Grand Theft Auto series gave an interview about the development process and provided an insight into just how much work goes into creating such huge and expansive worlds.Speaking to the Sunday Times, Houser compared the development process to the troubled filming of Apocalypse Now. The movie is famous for its lengthy and troubled production, which became the subject of the documentary Heart of Darkness: A filmmaker’s Apocalypse.

“We’ve all seen ‘Hearts of Darkness’. We’re definitely in that realm of excitement and misery at the same time. It’s not supposed to be easy. Each time, we push everything to its limit. I don’t think it’s conscious, but it’s sort of how it has to be. It has to hurt more. You want to find Kurtz every time,” he said to the Times.

The Grand Theft Auto series has been the subject of a fair share of controversy over the years. The Hot Coffee scandal from the PC version of San Andreas was one of the most famous instances of this. Rockstar found itself on the receiving end of severe court charges as US governors cried foul over the depiction of sex in the game. Houser saw that entire saga in a cynical light.

“Life ground to a halt. It’s just vote-winning, and they don’t care if they ruin your life, because these people are thinking on a macro level. If there’s a little bit of collateral damage, it doesn’t matter, does it?” he said to the Times. “Gamers are growing up, though we are still 10-20 years from all people in governance or authority understanding that it’s the same as any other art form and should not be singled out. We’re evolving. These kinds of things don’t happen overnight.”

The Grand Theft Auto series has always pushed the envelope of what has been possible in the realm of video games, but Houser believes that GTA V will take the medium to even further heights.

“With this one, we’ve moved it forward because there’s a lot of material going on to riff on and have fun with. I think that makes it feel very contemporary, which I’m really proud of,” he said. “It’s a game that is commenting all the things that are going on in the world, good, bad and indifferent. If that doesn’t show the emergence of the medium, then I don’t know what does.”

The full interview can be found on The Sunday Times website


Shehryar Sohail Muzammil
Shehryar's unhealthy obsession with video games has been a feature of his life for as long as he can remember. On the few occasions he is seen outdoors, you can find him playing football and cheering madly for Chelsea FC.

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