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Has Michael Unsworth left Rockstar Games?


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21 minutes ago, sanjay3207 said:

GTA 5 as a whole took a hit due to GTA 4's criticism. Whereas other titles had a definite vision and rockstar weren't influenced by criticism. GTA 5 was heavily effected because of GTA 4's criticism.

 

Every studio uses criticism and feedback to shape their next game, there are no exceptions to this.

 

Not every part of a R* game is flawless so it'd be pretty wild to see a bunch of criticism about one part of the game and go "lets ignore that and keep doing that thing a lot of people disliked".

 

Part of the issue with IV is that it was a byproduct of a brand new engine in a brand new era of gaming, it was R* trying something new and because of the new technology the foundations had to be rebuilt entirely resulting in an experience that ultimately felt a little barebones compared to the previous game, SA, which had the benefit of a mature technology base and feature set to build on.

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3 hours ago, Spider-Vice said:

It's not even R* North, it's London, lol. London is where the UK writing and productions teams are. Also, I'm pretty sure the reasons were family-related and nothing to do with Dan leaving.

 

These people are getting old and working on projects that each take 7+ years is unsustainable for some. There are plenty of other industry veterans leaving, including recently Naughty Dog higher ups. We are coming to a point in the 2020's where a lot of those veterans will be too old to want to continue doing these AAA things.

 

Seriously it's full-on fearmongering to think that the ONLY reason is that there's friction. It's been years between veteran departures, they are all already of a certain age. In this day and age a lot of devs join AAA studios only to work on ONE project because development times are so long and development is so stressful. One game is enough to burn out a lot of people nowadays. It is completely normal. 16 years is almost triple the normal amount of tenure for someone in the games industry, average tenure is about 5-7 years and even then that's kinda high. AAA development is tiring, stressful and complex and many industry veterans just wanna leave that behind now after 15-20 years doing the same thing - this includes narrative and R* isn't that special, they will have people who want to just retire or do something different after so long.

 

And again. Who said that it's an issue for some of those older veterans to leave? Trust me, a lot of younger talent can be very much better than all of these veterans. As Jason said earlier, I think there's gonna be a bit of a rude awakening for a lot of bigger studio fandoms in the next few years as veterans of most AAA studios start leaving. It will happen. If it were me, I wouldn't be working on AAA anymore after 20 years with how much more complex and stressful it's become.

 

Like I said in my original reply; it's completely fine if they're leaving for the right (personal) reasons. We have no way of concretely knowing if there was friction or not, but we can connect some dots based on the company's downward trend in quality since RDR2's launch. 

 

New blood is good if it's being introduced into a healthy environment, and not falling apart at the seams because of potential conflict that drove off the old blood in the first place. You can call the assumption that there's friction in the first place fearmongering, but I prefer to think of it as healthy skepticism. Especially in recent years. 

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2 hours ago, universetwisters said:

I’m sorry but literally who? This is the first time I’m hearing of his guy, let alone hearing him be mentioned in the same vein as the Benz or the housers.

 

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Also involved in many random NPC dialogues apparently

 

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1 minute ago, neoslice said:

-snip-

 

Also involved in many random NPC dialogues apparently

 

 

wtf this is genuinely news to me. But then again, he didn't start working at Rockstar until before IV came out and my head is still stuck in the III era. Is he really as influential as the Housers and the Benz tho? I'm not asking as a GOTCHA I'm asking because there's genuine interest in this as opposed to other writers for the series like James Worall that got swept under the rug

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4 hours ago, Jason said:

so we might not see the impact of Unsworth's departure until their game after GTA VI.

Or more like the next next title.

Edited by Tez2
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3 hours ago, Xerukal said:

 

Like I said in my original reply; it's completely fine if they're leaving for the right (personal) reasons. We have no way of concretely knowing if there was friction or not, but we can connect some dots based on the company's downward trend in quality since RDR2's launch. 

 

New blood is good if it's being introduced into a healthy environment, and not falling apart at the seams because of potential conflict that drove off the old blood in the first place. You can call the assumption that there's friction in the first place fearmongering, but I prefer to think of it as healthy skepticism. Especially in recent years. 


I totally agree. There’s no way to confirm anything, but there’s been plenty of reason to have a healthy skepticism. The amount of money Online has made by itself is enough to threaten any creative entity, unless they have total control of the ship.
 

With that much money at stake suddenly the bean counters start getting very uneasy about change of any kind. I also think that the subtext of RDR2 is the story of Rockstar itself - and more specifically, the end of Rockstar as we’ve known it. 

 

But I’m also completely stoked about 6 and the potential of new writers that we haven’t even seen yet. And I’m super encouraged to see Rockstar is interested in RP for GTA. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

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1 hour ago, Tez2 said:

Or more like the next next title.

 

In terms of pure writing I'd be surprised if he's gotten much of anything written down for whatever that is, unless they're veeeeeeeeeeery confident in the script, but someone of his position has possibly had an influence on what the next game will be in a very early general type of way.

 

But either way, we're probably looking at 2030 or so before we have the potential to feel any impact on his departure, if he's left. That's assuming the writing quality just randomly dips and we all go "yea, losing so so was significant" anywho.

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16 hours ago, Tez2 said:

Or more like the next next title.

🤔

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9 minutes ago, ionutx02 said:



I hate when someone brings dissapointment because it makes me and others upset too - a person who lives off OPTIMISM!

Well, disappointment does bring better stuff in the future(provided that it was addressed properly), like if people got disappointed with some feature in a game, that feature might not make it to the next one.

 

In the same vein, the opposite is true as well, people like a feature, the features makes it to the next game, might even improve upon it, and I see more of this in what we saw in the leaks, the next game appears to resemble RDR2 in some of its mechanics, because they were well received.

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Just now, MaddenedGhost said:

Well, disappointment does bring better stuff in the future(provided that it was addressed properly), like if people got disappointed with some feature in a game, that feature might not make it to the next one.

 

In the same vein, the opposite is true as well, people like a feature, the features makes it to the next game, might even improve upon it, and I see more of this in what we saw in the leaks, the next game appears to resemble RDR2 in some of its mechanics, because they were well received.

Yeah that's true, but I'm just talking about things like worrying about a company's downfall only because someone left it

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2 minutes ago, ionutx02 said:

Yeah that's true, but I'm just talking about things like worrying about a company's downfall only because someone left it

A healthy dose of skepticism is not bad in my opinion, but don't dwell on it, the new people might keep up the same quality or even outdo it.

 

Or...

 

He hasn't left :prismkek:

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Ballbreaker_
14 minutes ago, ionutx02 said:

@Spider-Vice Just warn people who are worried about Rockstar's downfall only because a single person is leaving the company and they bring the discussion here and not in its topic.

 

There has been more than just one single person leaving Rockstar in the latest years. 

 

Just to be clear, I have no formed opinion about any of this. I'm just pointing out a fact.

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I think we can rest assured whoever leaves NOW doesn't have any impact on this game, especially if it's writing/narrative, which seems to be the biggest concern amongst people.

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At least IGN has reached out to Rockstar Games and we'll know if he really left or no knowing how secretive the company is.

"Unsworth joined Rockstar as a senior creative writer in 2007 before stepping up as writing director in 2019. He then served 2 years as VP of writing before his apparent departure. IGN has reached out to Rockstar Games for confirmation."

https://www.ign.com/articles/rockstar-mike-unsworth-gta-5-leaves

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17 minutes ago, FamousActor_ said:

There has been more than just one single person leaving Rockstar in the latest years. 

 

Just to be clear, I have no formed opinion about any of this. I'm just pointing out a fact.

 

That means nothing. It was more or less the same case back in 2005, 2010, or even 2013. Look it up—how many big names left R* during those periods? Jamie King, Gary Foreman, Terry Donovan, James Worrall, David Bland, Christian Cantamessa, Craig Conner, Alex Horton, Alexander Roger, Mondo Ghulam, Colin Entwistle, and many, many others. These guys weren't some no-name chumps either. Some of them were co-founders of the bloody studio; some were lead writers, lead designers, lead technology, and lead audio guys; most of them were with the studio since the very beginning. R* is a much bigger studio today, and it's gonna turn 25 this year. You're gonna see more and more departures in the coming years. Such is the nature of time.

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People keep forgetting that working on video games is super stressfull .

Please watch raising kratos documentary,

you could see the stress Cory Barlog was under for that game to the point where he didn't direct the sequel " God of War Ragnarok " . Now imagine being in charge of All the GTA's , RDR's and the stress those people are under which makes me think that Sam will probably leave after GTAVI too which makes sense cause they have earned it. 

 

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2 out of 3 head writers gone. The problem is - who's behind the creative vision now? Is it Humphries, is it Sam Houser, Strauss Zelnick? RDRs and GTAs may have been written by 50 thousand people, but the vision always remained singular(Dan) or if not entirely singular certainly conceived by no more than 4 people(Dan,Sam, Rupert, Michael). The others were at the mere service of that vision. Whatever the reason may be for their departure, the key question right now ought to be 'Who's supervising the search for their replacement?' If it's the corporate department - goodbye, was nice knowing you.

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37 minutes ago, Donald Lov said:

2 out of 3 head writers gone. The problem is - who's behind the creative vision now? Is it Humphries, is it Sam Houser, Strauss Zelnick? RDRs and GTAs may have been written by 50 thousand people, but the vision always remained singular(Dan) or if not entirely singular certainly conceived by no more than 4 people(Dan,Sam, Rupert, Michael). The others were at the mere service of that vision. Whatever the reason may be for their departure, the key question right now ought to be 'Who's supervising the search for their replacement?' If it's the corporate department - goodbye, was nice knowing you.

 

You're forgetting about guys like Aaron Garbut, Rob Nelson, Andrew Semple, or a number of others who have been R* for over 10–15–20 years. Unlike many other studios, there isn't a single 'Directed By' or 'Lead Game Director' credit in any of their games. Looking at their credits, each department has its own director of sorts (and there's a different one in each studio), and they work together. So it's impossible to say who is (or was) in control of all creative decisions. We simply don't know much about their inner workings.

 

From what we know, Zelnick has next to nothing to do with the actual development of any of T2's games. He himself has said so, and I don't think we've seen anything to prove otherwise. R*'s disdain for ports and remasters is a R* thing. Say, if R* wanted to remake their games like Mafia 1, do you really think T2 wouldn't have let them do it? The place where I can see him have his say is mostly online stuff.

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56 minutes ago, Donald Lov said:

Donald Lov 2 out of 3 head writers gone. The problem is - who's behind the creative vision now? Is it Humphries, is it Sam Houser, Strauss Zelnick?

oh, you know who it is

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Spoiler

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Memes aside the whole Strauss is handling the replacements or directing the games or whatever stuff is really unfounded.

 

I mean this is the man who has let Ken Levine effectively close a highly successful studio so he can go make a new one and then spend, so far, 10 years making one single video game. You don't do that as a CEO without a level of trust and respect for your key talent.

 

Take-Two's M.O. per Strauss has always been to recruit the best talent and then give them the resources they need to do their best work, it obviously hasn't worked every time cause nothing is perfect but yea I doubt they'll cheap out on the replacements any positions R* needs to fill, they never have thus far.

 

Take-Two in general don't even tend to trend chase, they've intentionally avoided all the gold rushes in the modern industry - competitive scenes, esports, battle royale, MOBA, etc, while also avoiding chasing dead ends like cloud services. That stuff comes from the top. That isn't to say Take-Two and Zelnick don't have their short comings, NBA's monetisation is a disaster, R*'s outsourced ports and remasters have been rubbish at worst and just generally okay and solid at best, plus their historic treatment of the modding community etc. Generally speaking though for me Ubisoft, EA and Activision Blizzard's leadership is far worse than Take-Two under Zelnick.

 

But anyway, R* being R* probably have other writers already assisting on projects, I (though I may be wrong) doubt it was literally just those three writing every single line of dialogue, so it's entirely possible that they promote from within, which is what they usually do for other positions.

 

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46 minutes ago, Zapper said:

 

You're forgetting about guys like Aaron Garbut, Rob Nelson, Andrew Semple, or a number of others who have been R* for over 10–15–20 years. Unlike many other studios, there isn't a single 'Directed By' or 'Lead Game Director' credit in any of their games. Looking at their credits, each department has its own director of sorts (and there's a different one in each studio), and they work together. So it's impossible to say who is (or was) in control of all creative decisions. We simply don't know much about their inner workings.

 

From what we know, Zelnick has next to nothing to do with the actual development of any of T2's games. He himself has said so, and I don't think we've seen anything to prove otherwise. R*'s disdain for ports and remasters is a R* thing. Say, if R* wanted to remake their games like Mafia 1, do you really think T2 wouldn't have let them do it? The place where I can see him have his say is mostly online stuff.

What I want to know is who will be the guy(guys) who goes ''We're doing a Van Der Linde gang prequel for the next RDR.'' ''We're doing an Eastern European immigrant American dream story for the next GTA.'' this time around, the person(s) who puts the grand idea forward, sets up the foundation to build upon. 

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I don't think any single person ever made that decision tbf. Dan and Sam are most well known figures but they don't seen to be Kojima figures where they literally direct the entire project down to the smallest detail.

 

From some leaks years back that a few people saw, when they were thinking about VI and what it would be most/all of the key figures at R* were spitballing ideas, it's probably a decision they come to as a group.

 

I've said it before but it's exactly why I don't typically like to single out people at R*, cause they as a company intentionally didn't do it cause the people in charge acknowledged it was a big team effort - rather than everything being the result of certain specific individuals.

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30 minutes ago, Donald Lov said:

What I want to know is who will be the guy(guys) who goes ''We're doing a Van Der Linde gang prequel for the next RDR.'' ''We're doing an Eastern European immigrant American dream story for the next GTA.'' this time around, the person(s) who puts the grand idea forward, sets up the foundation to build upon. 

 

I doubt we'll ever get to know that clearly. We don't even know who chose those ideas in the first place—if that's even one person or multiple. It could be wrong, but I've read more than once that Sam and Aaron pick the map for GTAs, and that's the very first thing they do.

 

I mean, just look at Dan Houser's own words from a 2008 interview: "One of the things media struggles with about videogames that I’m very clear on in my mind is that it’s a team thing. One of the things I’ve always found weird about movies is they’re like, “Here’s a movie made by hundreds of people and let’s talk to one of the actors.”
It’s not me and it’s not Sam and it’s not [“GTA” producer] Leslie [Benzies], even though we’re all heavily involved. It’s us and another well over 100 other people. I think what makes “GTA” special."

 

There's a reason why R* doesn't emphasise singular individuals over their whole team.

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29 minutes ago, Zapper said:

"One of the things media struggles with about videogames that I’m very clear on in my mind is that it’s a team thing. One of the things I’ve always found weird about movies is they’re like, “Here’s a movie made by hundreds of people and let’s talk to one of the actors.”
It’s not me and it’s not Sam and it’s not [“GTA” producer] Leslie [Benzies], even though we’re all heavily involved. It’s us and another well over 100 other people. I think what makes “GTA” special."

 

This ends it all

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1 hour ago, Donald Lov said:

''We're doing a Van Der Linde gang prequel for the next RDR.''

 

In an interview, Rob nelson, producer of RDR 2, wanted RDR 2 to be a prequel and seems like he is the one who put this idea onto dan houser. But, still dan houser will be one who writes that story with his writing team. 

 

GamesBeat: Do you ever regretted doing this as a prequel as opposed to a sequel. Would you have more freedom, in a sequel, with how the story could turn out?

Nelson: I don’t think we ever regretted it. I personally remember begging Dan [Houser], let it be a prequel where we play in the gang from the last game. [Laughs] That’s just my personal opinion. But I wanted it to be in that gang doing that stuff. I suppose there are some limitations because you know how certain stories are going to end, things like that. But it never really bothered us while we were making it.

 

https://venturebeat.com/business/red-dead-redemption-a-deep-dive-into-rockstars-game-design/3/

 

Work on “Red Dead Redemption 2” started right after work on the “Red Dead Redemption” wrapped, back in 2010. Dan Houser and a handful of other key people starting fleshing out what this game would be, Nelson said.

In creating this prequel, there were a number of driving concepts that helped shape what it would later become. Dan Houser liked the idea of more fully exploring the character of Dutch, leader of the Van der Linde Gang.

“We wanted to tell the story fo that gang,” Nelson said. “I think Dan had that in his mind first.”

 

https://variety.com/2018/gaming/features/red-dead-redemption-2-narrative-interview-1202992401/

 

 

Full development of RDR 1 commenced in 2006, following the formation of a core development team led by lead designer and co-writer Christian Cantamessa, technical director Ted Carson, and art directors Josh Bass and Daren Bader.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_Red_Dead_Redemption

 

 

Seems like different developers and writers came up with different ideas. But, dan houser helped these teams by writing these games and also comes up with these ideas and also makes sure that the teams have everything they need. 

 

So far from what we know. The writers i.e, Dan houser, Michael Unsworth and rupert humphires, 2 of them left with Rupert humphries reamining as the sole writer. In terms of directors who directed RDR 2 i.e, Rob nelson and Aaron garbut, they are still at rockstar games. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by sanjay3207
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Has anyone even brought up the very real possibility that he didn’t quit, he’s just in the process of being promoted to another position.

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add a poll to this thread for us to vote on imo

 

 

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1 hour ago, .Smaher. said:

Has anyone even brought up the very real possibility that he didn’t quit, he’s just in the process of being promoted to another position

There isn't any indication that he got promoted. Many people say that he left and linkedin profile shows "-2023". Which indicates that he left or he might got a new position within Rockstar. But, we really don't know. Even many journalists use the word "seemingly" and "reportedly", seems like they don't even have any confirmation. 

All we have is the linkedin update.

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1 hour ago, sanjay3207 said:

There isn't any indication that he got promoted. Many people say that he left and linkedin profile shows "-2023". Which indicates that he left or he might got a new position within Rockstar. But, we really don't know. Even many journalists use the word "seemingly" and "reportedly", seems like they don't even have any confirmation. 

All we have is the linkedin update.

Who are those many people that aren’t just going off guesses like everyone else.


Also, it only said “-2023” for the role he currently left, just like all his previous roles. If he’s being promoted, we probably just don’t know to what, yet.

 

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I think he was fired, because he was Unsworthy of that position.

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