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Rockstar Games

Rockstar Games, Inc.
Subsidiary Of Take-Two Interactive
Industry Video games
Predecessor BMG Interactive
Founded 1998 (1998)
Founders Dan Houser, Terry Donovan, Gary Foreman, Jamie King, Sam Houser
Headquarters New York City, New York, United States
Key people
Sam Houser (president)
Dan Houser (vice president)
Products List of Rockstar Games products
Owner Take-Two Interactive
Number of employees
900+ (8 studios)[1]
Parent Take-Two Interactive
Website .com.rockstargameswww

Rockstar Games is a multinational video game developer and publisher based in New York City, owned by Take-Two Interactive following its purchase of British video game publisher BMG Interactive.[2] The publisher is known for the Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne, Red Dead, Midnight Club, Bully, Manhunt, The Warriors games and L.A. Noire, as well as the use of open world, free roaming settings in their games. It comprises studios that have been acquired and renamed as well as others that have been created internally. While many 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 1
  • Studios 2
    • Current studios 2.1
    • Former studios 2.2
  • Technology 3
    • RAGE 3.1
    • Social Club 3.2
  • External developers 4
  • Games published 5
  • Films 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Company philosophy

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]


Current studios

Logo Name Location Years as Rockstar division Notes
Rockstar Leeds Leeds, England 2004–present Previously known as Mobius Entertainment, they created Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories for the PlayStation Portable, Max Payne for the Game Boy Advance, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, and the music game Beaterator. The studio's most recent work is the Microsoft Windows version of L.A. Noire.
Rockstar Lincoln Lincoln, England 1999–present Quality assurance and localisation, previously known as Tarantula Studios.
Rockstar London London, England 2005–present Formed in November 2005. Took over development of Manhunt 2 after Rockstar Vienna closed and developed the portable adaptation of Midnight Club: Los Angeles.
Rockstar New England Andover, Massachusetts 2008–present Acquired on April 4, 2008 and was previously known as Mad Doc Software. They developed the Wii, Xbox 360, and PC ports of Bully.[11]
Rockstar North Edinburgh, Scotland 1999–present Founded in 1988 as DMA Design and subsequently acquired in 1999,[12] they are famous for the Grand Theft Auto, and Manhunt franchises, as well as the original Lemmings games.
Rockstar San Diego Carlsbad, California 2003–present Previously known as Angel Studios, they developed the RAGE engine, Red Dead Revolver and Red Dead Redemption, the Smuggler's Run series, the first two Midtown Madness games and the Midnight Club series.
Rockstar Toronto Oakville, Ontario 1999–present Previously known as Rockstar Canada. 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.

Former studios

Logo Name Location Years as Rockstar division Notes
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 Vancouver Vancouver, British Columbia 2002–2012 Previously known as Barking Dog Studios, they created the PlayStation 2 title Bully and the third game in the Max Payne series, Max Payne 3. Vancouver merged with Rockstar Toronto in 2012.[13]
Rockstar Vienna Vienna, Austria 2003–2006 Previously known as Neo Software; closed on May 11, 2006.[14] They ported the Max Payne series to consoles, and created some of Manhunt 2 before being closed down.



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[1] and Wii systems.

Social Club

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

External developers

Games published

Title Release year(s) Developer(s)
Grand Theft Auto series 1997–present Rockstar North, Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar Toronto, Rockstar Lincoln
Monster Truck Madness 64 1998 Terminal Reality, Edge of Reality
Wild Metal Country 1999 DMA Design (now Rockstar North)
Thrasher: Skate and Destroy 1999 Z-Axis
Midnight Club series 2000–present Rockstar San Diego, Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar London
Smuggler's Run series 2000–2002 Angel Studios (now Rockstar San Diego)
Max Payne series 2001–present Remedy Entertainment, Rockstar Studios
Oni 2001 Bungie, Rockstar Toronto
State of Emergency 2002 VIS Entertainment
Manhunt series 2003–present Rockstar North, Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar Toronto, Rockstar London, Rockstar Vienna
Red Dead series 2004–present Rockstar San Diego
The Warriors 2005 Rockstar Toronto, Rockstar Leeds
Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis 2006 Rockstar San Diego
Bully 2006 Rockstar Vancouver, Rockstar New England
Beaterator 2009 Rockstar Leeds
L.A. Noire 2011 Team Bondi


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.[18]


  1. ^ The OSX version of Max Payne 3 uses TransGaming's Cider compatibility layer and does not run natively on OSX.
  1. ^  
  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".  
  9. ^ Ivan, Tom. "Rockstar 'deliberately avoiding' FPS genre". ComputerAndVideoGames. 
  10. ^ a b Krupa, Daniel (4 November 2014). "Grand Theft Auto 5: A New Perspective".  
  11. ^ "Rockstar Acquires Mad Doc Software". RockstarWatch. Retrieved April 4, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Take-Two Interactive Buys DMA Design for $11m.". Computergram International  – via HighBeam (subscription required) . September 30, 1999. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  13. ^ Jared Linwood (July 9, 2012). "Rockstar Vancouver merges with Rockstar Toronto and expands". RockstarWatch. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  14. ^ Jurie Horneman (May 11, 2006). "Rockstar Vienna closes its doors". Intelligent Artifice. Retrieved April 21, 2007. 
  15. ^ "Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. to Acquire 19.9% Interest in Bungie Software Products Corporation.". Take-Two Interactive Software. 
  16. ^ "Grand Theft Auto 3 for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store".  
  17. ^ "PSA: Max Payne Mobile now available".  
  18. ^ McElroy, Justin. "Report: Rockstar Films trademarked by Rockstar Games". Joystiq. 

External links

  • Official website
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