Rockstar Games is a multinational video game developer and publisher based in New York City, owned by Take-Two Interactive following its purchase of British video game publisher BMG Interactive. The publisher is known for the Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne, Red Dead, Midnight Club, Bully, Manhunt, The Warriors game and L.A. Noire, as well as the use of open world, free roaming settings in their games. It comprises studios that have been acquired and renamed as well as others that have been created internally. While many of the studios Take-Two Interactive has acquired have been merged into the Rockstar brand, several other recent ones have retained their previous identities and have become part of the company's 2K Games division. The Rockstar Games label was founded in 1998 by the British video game producers Sam Houser, Dan Houser, Terry Donovan, Jamie King and Gary Foreman.
The main headquarters of Rockstar Games (commonly referred to as Rockstar NYC) is located on Broadway in the NoHo neighborhood of New York City, part of the Take-Two Interactive offices. It is home to the marketing, public relations and product development departments.
As of February 2014, Rockstar Games titles have shipped more than 250 million copies, the largest franchise being the Grand Theft Auto series which alone has shipments of at least 220 million. In March 2014, Rockstar Games received the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award at the British Academy Video Games Awards.
In October 2011, Rockstar creative vice-president Dan Houser told Famitsu that Rockstar was intentionally avoiding developing in the first-person shooter genre. "We're deliberately avoiding that right now", he said, according to a 1UP.com translation. "It's in our DNA to avoid doing what other companies are doing. I suppose you could say that Max Payne 3 is something close to an FPS, but there are really unique aspects to the setting and gameplay there, too, not just in the story. You have to have originality in your games; you have to have some kind of interesting message. You could say that the goalpoint of Rockstar is to have the players really feel what we're trying to do". Houser went on to say that Rockstar has "made new genres by ourselves with games like the GTA series. We didn't rely on testimonials in a business textbook to do what we've done. I think we succeeded precisely because we didn't concentrate on profit... If we make the sort of games we want to play, then we believe people are going to buy them."
Rockstar has since released an enhanced remake of Grand Theft Auto V for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which can be fully played from the first-person perspective. This was made possible in part with higher quality firearm visuals, hindered audio-visual stimuli due to headgear, and additional animations - helping the game achieve aesthetic parity with other first-person shooters.
|Logo||Name||Location||Years as Rockstar division||Notes|
|Rockstar Leeds||Leeds, England||2004–present||Previously known as Mobius Entertainment, they created Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories for the PlayStation Portable, Max Payne for the Game Boy Advance, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, and the music game Beaterator. The studio's most recent work is the Microsoft Windows version of L.A. Noire.|
|Rockstar Lincoln||Lincoln, England||1999–present||Quality assurance and localisation, previously known as Tarantula Studios.|
|Rockstar London||London, England||2005–present||Formed in November 2005. Took over development of Manhunt 2 after Rockstar Vienna closed and developed the portable adaptation of Midnight Club: Los Angeles.|
|Rockstar New England||Andover, Massachusetts||2008–present||Acquired on April 4, 2008 and was previously known as Mad Doc Software. They developed the Wii, Xbox 360, and PC ports of Bully.|
|Rockstar North||Edinburgh, Scotland||1999–present||Founded in 1988 as DMA Design and subsequently acquired in 1999, they are famous for the Grand Theft Auto, and Manhunt franchises, as well as the original Lemmings games.|
|Rockstar San Diego||Carlsbad, California||2003–present||Previously known as Angel Studios, they developed the RAGE engine, Red Dead Revolver and Red Dead Redemption, the Smuggler's Run series, the first two Midtown Madness games and the Midnight Club series.|
|Rockstar Toronto||Oakville, Ontario||1999–present||Previously known as Rockstar Canada. Their most well-known work is The Warriors, an adaptation of the cult classic film and the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City.|
|Logo||Name||Location||Years as Rockstar division||Notes|
|Rockstar Japan||Tokyo, Japan||2005||Formally a label created between Rockstar and Capcom, who previously held exclusive distribution rights to the Grand Theft Auto series in Japan.|
|Rockstar Vancouver||Vancouver, British Columbia||2002–2012||Previously known as Barking Dog Studios, they created the PlayStation 2 title Bully and the third game in the Max Payne series, Max Payne 3. Vancouver merged with Rockstar Toronto in 2012.|
|Rockstar Vienna||Vienna, Austria||2003–2006||Previously known as Neo Software; closed on May 11, 2006. They ported the Max Payne series to consoles, and created some of Manhunt 2 before being closed down.|
Rockstar Games have developed their own game engine called the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) to facilitate game development on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows, Mac and Wii systems.
The Rockstar Games Social Club is an online gaming service created by Rockstar for use with their games.
- Edge of Reality developed Monster Truck Madness 64.
- Z-Axis developed Thrasher presents Skate and Destroy.
- Opus in collaboration with ASCII Entertainment developed .
- Bungie developed the game Oni for Windows and Macintosh, which was then ported by Rockstar to the PS2 and published by them. Before Bungie was bought by Microsoft, their breakthrough product, Halo, was planned for release on video game consoles with Rockstar as publisher.
- VIS Entertainment in collaboration with Dubtitled Entertainment is known for developing the State of Emergency game.
- Capcom had early development in Rockstar San Diego's Red Dead Revolver and previously owned the Japanese distribution rights to the Grand Theft Auto franchise.
- Digital Eclipse Software collaborated with Rockstar North while developing Grand Theft Auto Advance.
- Remedy Entertainment developed Max Payne and Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne.
- Team Bondi an Australian independent gaming developer who developed L.A. Noire with Rockstar.
- War Drum Studios ported a number of Rockstar titles to mobile platforms such as Grand Theft Auto III,Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and Max Payne. They also ported Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to the Xbox 360.
- Image Metrics has done most of the facial animation in many of Rockstar's games.
|Grand Theft Auto series||1997–present||Rockstar North, Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar Toronto, Rockstar Lincoln|
|Monster Truck Madness 64||1998||Terminal Reality, Edge of Reality|
|Wild Metal Country||1999||DMA Design (now Rockstar North)|
|Thrasher: Skate and Destroy||1999||Z-Axis|
|Midnight Club series||2000–present||Rockstar San Diego, Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar London|
|Smuggler's Run series||2000–2002||Angel Studios (now Rockstar San Diego)|
|Max Payne series||2001–present||Remedy Entertainment, Rockstar Studios|
|Oni||2001||Bungie, Rockstar Toronto|
|State of Emergency||2002||VIS Entertainment|
|Manhunt series||2003–present||Rockstar North, Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar Toronto, Rockstar London, Rockstar Vienna|
|Red Dead series||2004–present||Rockstar San Diego|
|The Warriors||2005||Rockstar Toronto, Rockstar Leeds|
|Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis||2006||Rockstar San Diego|
|Bully||2006||Rockstar Vancouver, Rockstar New England|
|L.A. Noire||2011||Team Bondi|
|The Football Factory1||2004||Drama|
|Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – The Introduction||2004||Crime Drama|
|Red Dead Redemption: The Man from Blackwater||2010||Western Drama|
In 2011, Rockstar Games trademarked Rockstar Films.
- Official website