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Rockstar Games throwback: Dan Houser "thankful" for not having to release GTA 6 under Trump presidency

Dan Houser was a big part of Rockstar Games
Dan Houser was a big part of Rockstar Games's success (Image via TheGamer)
Rahul Bhushan
ANALYST
Modified 27 Jan 2021
Feature

Rockstar Games and its brand of satire in the GTA games have achieved legendary status in the world of entertainment, transcending gaming boundaries.

At the helm of creative at Rockstar has always been former co-founder and lead writer Dan Houser. While younger fans appreciate GTA for the wanton violence, action, and sheer ridiculousness, there is far more to these games than that.

GTA's brand of satire has been a fascinating subject for critics and audiences to dissect and analyze as it is exceptionally layered, nuanced, and sharp as a knife. However, in an interview with GQ in 2018, Dan Houser was "thankful" that he did not have to work on releasing GTA 6 while then-President Donald Trump was in office.


When Dan Houser was "thankful" for not having to release GTA 6 under Trump's presidency

More than anything, GTA has never missed an opportunity to satirize the most pressing topics of the time. From vigilantism border patrol to torture, American excess, and just about everything under the sun, these games spare none.

If a GTA game were set in modern times, it would not just be impossible to not address and satirize the proverbial elephant in the room, it wouldn't be in line with Rockstar's principles and idealogy.

It would be extremely tough to merely gloss over the polarization and extreme political divide existing not just in the States but also in the world. The GTA franchise's identity is steeped in American culture and its politics, and glossing over those themes would not be doing justice to the game and its satire.

Also read: Which game engine does GTA 5 use?

Dan Houser's exact quotes relating to the Trump administration and the political climate in the US and why he was thankful for not having to release GTA 6 at that point were:

"Both intense liberal progression and intense conservatism are both very militant and very angry. It is scary, but it's also strange, yet both occasionally seem to veer towards the absurd. It's hard to satirize for those reasons. Some of the stuff you see is straightforwardly beyond satire. It would be out of date within two minutes, and everything is changing so fast."

His main concern regarding the satire in GTA 6 seemed to have not stemmed from angering either side, but the satire would be out of date quickly.

He then expressed his relief that Red Dead Redemption 2 was a period piece and that issues of politics and culture were dated by design, and possibly there was more context available for writing.

As it stands, GTA 6 is far from a release date and possibly will be far removed from the Trump Presidency-era of American politics. Dan Houser has since left Rockstar, and his shoes are going to be monumentally large to fill.

Published 27 Jan 2021
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