Why has Rockstar Games avoided making GTA or Red Dead Redemption movies despite popular demand? | Gaming News

Why has Rockstar Games avoided making GTA or Red Dead Redemption movies despite popular demand?

Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser explains why beloved franchises GTA and Red Dead Redemption have not been adapted into movies, emphasising control and economic risks.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Jul 02 2024, 18:45 IST
5 notable things we saw in the GTA 6 trailer: Release date, characters, location and more
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1/5 Based in Vice City - Rockstar Games has brought back Grand Theft Auto to Vice City, its own fictional take on Miami but not for the first time. Vice City was first introduced in 2002’s GTA: Vice City. GTA 6’s open world is set in the state of Leonida and will feature iconic locations from the previous game such as Vice Beaches, Kelly County, Hamlet, Port Gellhorn, and more.  (Rockstar Games)
Why has Rockstar Games avoided making GTA or Red Dead Redemption movies
2/5 Two playable characters - We now know that GTA 6 will feature two protagonists - Lucia, and an unnamed male character, which leaks say is named Jason. It would be the first time in the HD universe that the Grand Theft Auto series will get a playable female protagonist. While not many details were revealed, the two characters were shown committing multiple crimes, hinting at a possible Bonnie & Clyde relationship. (Rockstar Games)
Why has Rockstar Games avoided making GTA or Red Dead Redemption movies
3/5 New features - As seen in the GTA 6 trailer, the game will feature a vast range of vehicles. Apart from traditional vehicles such as cars, trucks, boats, planes, helicopters, bikes, jet skis, and yachts, GTA 6 might also feature quad bikes, biplanes, hover boats, amphibious trucks, monster trucks, and cruise ships. Car customization might also be heavily featured in the game, with possible street racing returning. Players might also be able to join up at car meets. GTA 6 will also feature three gangs, with two of them already being named. There are a lot of animals too, with crocodiles and dogs already seen in the trailer. And yes, GTA 6 will feature DJs. (Rockstar Games)
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4/5 Inclusion of social media - GTA 6 will feature social media, as seen in the trailer. Social media posts can be seen, with players potentially being able to record themselves and post the clips online for the world to see. Moreover, GTA 6 is also likely to feature real-time reporting of events, as footage of crimes committed by the protagonists was shown in the trailer. (Rockstar Games)
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5/5 Release timeline, platforms - After years of waiting, we finally know the release timeline of GTA 6. Rockstar Games has announced that GTA 6 will be released in 2025, almost 12 years after the launch of GTA 5. The company has also revealed that it will be coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S systems, meaning that PC players might have to wait before getting their hands on the next Grand Theft Auto game. (Rockstar Games)
Why has Rockstar Games avoided making GTA or Red Dead Redemption movies
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Rockstar Games explains why there are no movies for GTA or Red Dead Redemption yet. (Rockstar Games)

Rockstar Games' much-anticipated title, GTA 6, is scheduled for a Fall 2025 release. With numerous popular video games like Doom, Halo, Warcraft, Resident Evil, and more recently, The Last of Us and Fallout, receiving movie or TV adaptations, it's surprising that Grand Theft Auto (GTA) and Red Dead Redemption have not followed suit. Dan Houser, co-founder of Rockstar Games, sheds light on this decision, explaining why the company remains hesitant to adapt their beloved franchises for the big screen.

Also read: GTA Online Halloween event to feature ghosts, UFO abductions, and new weather effects

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The Risks of Losing Creative Control

In a recent interview with The Ankler, Houser shared that the idea of a GTA movie has been floated many times during his tenure at Rockstar Games. "After a few awkward dates, we'd ask the executives, 'Why would we do this?'" Houser recalled. The typical response was, "You get to make a movie." Houser countered, "No, what you've described is you making a movie and us having no control while taking a huge risk that we would end up paying for with something that belongs to us."

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Also read: Rockstar Games to reintroduce GTA Online Heist challenge with new rewards and content in 2024

Houser emphasised that Rockstar Games values its intellectual property too highly to risk losing creative control. "We had what we considered to be a multi-billion-dollar IP, and the economics never made sense. The risk never made sense. In those days, the perception was that games made poor-quality movies," he stated. This concern for maintaining control and the high stakes involved has kept Rockstar from pursuing film adaptations.

Successful Game-to-TV Adaptations

The hesitation to adapt GTA or Red Dead Redemption into films contrasts sharply with other successful game-to-TV adaptations. For instance, Naughty Dog's action-adventure series, 'The Last of Us', and Bethesda's Fallout have both been adapted into TV shows. 'The Last of Us', adapted by HBO, stars Game of Thrones actors Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie. The show received favourable reviews and has been renewed for a second season. Similarly, Amazon Prime Video's adaptation of Fallout features notable actors like Ella Purnell and Walton Goggins and has garnered considerable interest.

Also read: GTA Online adds Vice City inspired missions and more exciting content ahead of GTA 6 release

Rockstar Games's Reluctance to Change

Despite the success of these adaptations, Rockstar Games remains cautious. The company is not comfortable relinquishing control over its creations, preferring to keep GTA and Red Dead Redemption as purely video game experiences. For now, fans will have to be content with the immersive worlds Rockstar continues to build in its games, rather than seeing these universes translated to the big screen.

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First Published Date: 02 Jul, 11:34 IST
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