Rockstar Games

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Rockstar Games, Inc.
Subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive
Industry Video games
Predecessor BMG Interactive
Founded 1998; 18 years ago (1998)
Headquarters New York City, New York, United States
Coordinates 40°43′33″N 73°59′45″W / 40.725736°N 73.995968°W / 40.725736; -73.995968Coordinates: 40°43′33″N 73°59′45″W / 40.725736°N 73.995968°W / 40.725736; -73.995968
Key people
Dan Houser (vice president)
Sam Houser (president)
Number of employees
900 (structure)[1]
Parent Take-Two Interactive

Rockstar Games is a multinational video game developer and publisher known for multi-million-selling games such as Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead, Midnight Club, Bully, The Warriors, Manhunt and Max Payne, as well as the use of open world, free roaming settings in their games. Based in New York City, it is owned by Take-Two Interactive following its purchase of British video game publisher BMG Interactive.[2] While some of the studios Take-Two Interactive has acquired have been merged into the Rockstar brand, several other recent ones have retained their previous identities and have become part of the company's 2K Games division.

The Rockstar Games label was founded in 1998[3] by the British video game producers Sam Houser, Dan Houser, Terry Donovan, Jamie King and Gary Foreman.[4][5]

The main headquarters of Rockstar Games (commonly referred to as Rockstar NYC)[6] is located on Broadway in the NoHo neighborhood of New York City, part of the Take-Two Interactive offices. It is home to the marketing, public relations and product development departments.[7]

As of February 2014, Rockstar Games titles have shipped more than 250 million copies, the largest franchise being the Grand Theft Auto series which alone has shipments of at least 220 million.[8] In March 2014, Rockstar Games received the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award at the British Academy Video Games Awards.

Company philosophy[edit]

In October 2011, Rockstar creative vice-president Dan Houser told Famitsu that Rockstar was intentionally avoiding developing in the first-person shooter genre. "We're deliberately avoiding that right now", he said, according to a translation. "It's in our DNA to avoid doing what other companies are doing. I suppose you could say that Max Payne 3 is something close to an FPS, but there are really unique aspects to the setting and gameplay there, too, not just in the story. You have to have originality in your games; you have to have some kind of interesting message. You could say that the goalpoint of Rockstar is to have the players really feel what we're trying to do". Houser went on to say that Rockstar has "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. I think we succeeded precisely because we didn't concentrate on profit... If we make the sort of games we want to play, then we believe people are going to buy them."[9]

Rockstar has since released an enhanced remake of Grand Theft Auto V for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which can be fully played from the first-person perspective.[10] This was made possible in part with higher quality firearm visuals, hindered audio-visual stimuli due to headgear, and additional animations - helping the game achieve aesthetic parity with other first-person shooters.[10]

Games developed[edit]

Title Release year(s) Developer(s)
Grand Theft Auto series 1997–present Rockstar North, Rockstar Leeds
Midnight Club series 2000–present Rockstar San Diego
Bully 2006 Rockstar Vancouver
The Warriors 2005 Rockstar Toronto
Red Dead series 2004–present Rockstar San Diego
Max Payne series 2001–present Remedy Entertainment, Rockstar Studios
Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis 2006 Rockstar San Diego
Manhunt series 2003–present Rockstar North, Rockstar London, Rockstar Vienna
Beaterator 2009 Rockstar Leeds

External developers and publisher[edit]


Films Release Genre
The Football Factory1 2004 Drama
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – The Introduction 2004 Crime drama
Sunday Driver1 2005 Documentary
Red Dead Redemption: The Man from Blackwater 2010 Western drama
  1. Rockstar Games is credited as executive producers.

In 2011, Rockstar Games trademarked Rockstar Films.[14]


Current studios[edit]

Logo Name Location Years as Rockstar division Notes
Rockstar North logo.svg Rockstar North Edinburgh, Scotland 1999–present Founded in 1988 as DMA Design and subsequently acquired in 1999,[15] they are famous for the Grand Theft Auto, and Manhunt franchises, as well as the original Lemmings games.
Rockstar San Diego Logo.svg Rockstar San Diego Carlsbad, California 2003–present As part of Rockstar they developed the RAGE engine, the Midnight Club series, Red Dead Revolver and Red Dead Redemption.
Rockstar Toronto logo.svg Rockstar Toronto Oakville, Ontario 1999–present Their most well-known work is The Warriors, an adaptation of the cult classic film and the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City.
Rockstar Leeds Logo.svg Rockstar Leeds Leeds, England 2004–present They created Liberty City Stories, Vice City Stories, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, the music game Beaterator and Max Payne for the Game Boy Advance. Most recent work was the Microsoft Windows version of L.A. Noire.
Rockstar Lincoln logo.svg Rockstar Lincoln Lincoln, England 1999–present Quality assurance and localisation, previously known as Tarantula Studios.
Rockstar London logo.svg Rockstar London London, England 2005–present Formed in November 2005 for the development of Manhunt 2 after Rockstar Vienna closed. Developed the portable adaptation of Midnight Club: Los Angeles.
Rockstar New England logo.svg Rockstar New England Andover, Massachusetts 2008–present Responsible for the Wii, Xbox 360, PC ports of Bully.[16]

Former studios[edit]

Logo Name Location Years as Rockstar division Notes
Rockstar Vancouver Logo.svg Rockstar Vancouver Vancouver, British Columbia 2002–2012 Merged with Rockstar Toronto in 2012. Responsible for the PlayStation 2 title Bully and the third game in the Max Payne series, Max Payne 3. [17]
Rockstar Japan logo.svg Rockstar Japan Tokyo, Japan 2005 Formally a label created between Rockstar and Capcom, who previously held exclusive distribution rights to the Grand Theft Auto series in Japan.
Rockstar Vienna Logo.svg Rockstar Vienna Vienna, Austria 2003–2006 They ported the Max Payne series to consoles, and created some of Manhunt 2 before being closed down.[18]



Rockstar Games have developed their own game engine called the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) to facilitate game development on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows, Mac[a] and Wii systems.

Social Club[edit]

The Rockstar Games Social Club is an online gaming service created by Rockstar for use with their games.


  1. ^ The OSX version of Max Payne 3 uses TransGaming's Cider compatibility layer and does not run natively on OSX.
  1. ^ British Academy of Film and Television Arts (12 March 2014). "Fellowship in 2014 – Rockstar Games". YouTube. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Rockstar Games Multimedia Designers". Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Rockstar Games Corporate Info". Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Laura Avery (2005). Newsmakers: the people behind today's headlines: 2004 cumulation. Gale Research. p. 212. 
  6. ^ "Rockstar NYC Job openings". Rockstar Games. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Rockstar Studios Information". Rockstar Universe. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Rockstar titles have now shipped 250 million copies to date". GameSpot. February 4, 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2014. 
  9. ^ Ivan, Tom. "Rockstar 'deliberately avoiding' FPS genre". ComputerAndVideoGames. 
  10. ^ a b Krupa, Daniel (4 November 2014). "Grand Theft Auto 5: A New Perspective". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 4 November 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. to Acquire 19.9% Interest in Bungie Software Products Corporation.". Take-Two Interactive Software. 
  12. ^ "Grand Theft Auto 3 for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store". Apple Inc. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "PSA: Max Payne Mobile now available". Joystiq. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  14. ^ McElroy, Justin. "Report: Rockstar Films trademarked by Rockstar Games". Joystiq. 
  15. ^ "Take-Two Interactive Buys DMA Design for $11m.". Computergram International  – via HighBeam (subscription required). September 30, 1999. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  16. ^ "Rockstar Acquires Mad Doc Software". RockstarWatch. Retrieved April 4, 2008. 
  17. ^ Jared Linwood (July 9, 2012). "Rockstar Vancouver merges with Rockstar Toronto and expands". RockstarWatch. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  18. ^ Jurie Horneman (May 11, 2006). "Rockstar Vienna closes its doors". Intelligent Artifice. Retrieved April 21, 2007. 

External links[edit]