Sam Houser Happy as a Smaller Fish in a Bigger Pond

Even though he was turned down for a job there...

Posted by Staff
Sam Houser, image via gamesprite.
Sam Houser, image via gamesprite.
Sam Houser, Rockstar's co-founder and president, has said that he wouldn't have a problem with Rockstar's place in the Electronic Arts pecking order should the ongoing takeover bid of Take-Two by EA go ahead.

Speaking in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Houser said that Rockstar's absorption into EA would make it a "much smaller fish in much bigger pond" in comparison to the label's place in the Take-Two hierarchy. He went on to say, "I'm not someone who has any kind of problem with that."

That said, Houser stated that he probably won't seek approval for game content if Take-Two is bought by EA.

There was a real stinger in there for EA's CEO, John Riccitiello, however. The whole $2 billion takeover bid could possibly have been avoided, assuming that Rockstar and GTA IV are the target. Houser says that in the late 1990s he applied for a job at EA but was rejected. Riccitiello's first stint as CEO at EA started in 1997, we say no more.

While Houser indicates he wouldn't have a problem working as a “smaller fish”, however, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter isn't convinced it would work out. "These are the kids on the island in Lord of the Flies”, he said. “Are they manageable? No one knows."

If the stories are to be believed, Rockstar certainly has an... unconventional approach to the day-to-day running of its affairs. After a couple of suicides among the label's staff (apparently unrelated to work) a spiritual healer was brought in and proceeded to make her way through the New York headquarters swinging crystals about.

On a slightly scarier note, reports have emerged thanks to former employees of real weapons such as AK47s and sniper rifles being kept in the office. Gary Dale, COO of Take-Two, fielded that one. "They may be good replicas, but they are replicas", he said.

It's also been reported that when Rockstar games receive poor reviews, Houser has his staff “go war” with publications to get the score up. Houser didn't admit to using those words, but did say "That's an area I've grown up in, definitely."

Much dirty laundry was aired when former Rockstar employee Jeff Williams put up a lengthy blog post saying, among other things that “Every Rockstar project turned into a huge clusterfuck”.

Houser half-dismissed Williams' claims without actually denying them, saying, "He's writing things I can't remember."

For the full interview, head over to the The Wall Street Journal.


deleted 12 May 2008 18:24
Houser is a funny sort of guy, likes to show his hipity hopity side, and says f**k you to most newspapers, but he actually applied for an EA job where he would have to kiss rear on a regular basis and be less concerned about games and more with profit, so which is it?

look as far as im concerned about this take 2 dealy though well let EA buy it, but couldnt Rockstar have some type of untouchable contract thingy implimented to allow creative delevopment?
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