Rockstar Games is losing one of the creative executives behind some of its most successful video games. Dan Houser, VP and co-founder of Rockstar Games, took an extended break in spring 2019 and will be leaving March 11, parent company Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
The stock was down 4.5% mid-morning.
Dan and Sam Houser are the brothers behind hit games like "Grand Theft Auto V" and "Red Dead Redemption II."
A Take-Two spokesperson told CNN Business that Sam Houser's role at Rockstar Games, which he founded in 1998, remains unchanged. He and the team will focus on current and future projects. Take-Two declined to say why Dan Houser is leaving.
Wall Street is bullish on Take-Two if it can deliver another entry in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, whose fifth installment was the best-selling video game in the United States in this decade, according to NPD Group. But Dan Houser's departure will "raise questions as to timing and progress," Jefferies analysts wrote in a note. "Given the very low visibility into the Houser brothers and Rockstar as a whole, it's difficult to decipher what this means for the pipeline," they wrote.
"Dan contributed to ALL of Rockstar’s hits this century... They have a TON of hits, and he contributed to all of them," said Michael Pachter, an analyst at private financial services firm Wedbush. "It’s hard to know what each man’s contribution was, but my bias is that Sam is pretty capable."
Take-Two reports earnings tomorrow after market close.