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The Real Reason This Rockstar Founder Left The Company

Since the early 2000s, Rockstar Games has been at the forefront of video game development, turning out one huge game-changing franchise after another. For much of the company's history, Rockstar's most prominent figures have arguably been brothers Sam and Dan Houser, two of Rockstar's co-founders and the minds behind hugely successful IP such as "Grand Theft Auto" and "Red Dead Redemption." And while Dan Houser's departure from Rockstar in 2020 came as a shock, it wasn't the first time an important figure left the company amidst massive success. Way back in 2006, co-founder Jamie King abruptly left Rockstar during the development of "Grand Theft Auto 4," a game that is considered to be one of the very best the franchise has to offer.

The circumstances behind King's sudden departure from Rockstar have largely been a mystery for the last 15 years, as neither he nor Rockstar have publicly discussed the split in detail. But now, long after he decided to move on from one of the biggest video game developers in the world, King has broken his silence and revealed the real reason why he left Rockstar Games.

Jamie King gets honest about Rockstar Games

In an interview with YouTuber Killaz, Jamie King discussed a plethora of topics, including the creation of Rockstar Games, his relationship with the Housers (or lack thereof), and why "Grand Theft Auto 3" protagonist Claude Speed famously doesn't have any dialogue. Eventually, the topic of his departure from Rockstar came up in conversation, and according to King, creative differences and an insane schedule were the primary forces that drove him to put in his resignation.

"I left because I thought the situation was one way, and the situation was actually a different way," King told Killaz. King also noted a lack of "fight" and "excitement" left in him when it came to continuing with the company.

After the creative splits began to form, King had a difficult conversation with Sam Houser, in which expressed frustration with the company's direction and his own issues with the process. "I was sat with [Sam Houser] and I was like, 'I don't want to do it,'" King explained. "At that point, we'd been working seven days a week, and I was sacrificing everything for it. I just felt like life is too short and there are other things I want to do."

Rockstar has been criticized for its labor practices in the past, specifically during the development of "Grand Theft Auto 5" and "Red Dead Redemption 2." This kind of time crunch has been a pressing issue not just in regards to Rockstar, but within the video game industry as a whole. Judging from King's comments, it seems the day-to-day grind of development at Rockstar proved to be too exhausting and unrewarding.