Rockstar Games Co-Founder Reveals Why He Left the Company

Rockstar Games co-founder Jamie King reveals the situation leading to his departure from the GTA series creator after major successes.

In a new interview, Rockstar Games co-founder Jamie King reveals why he left the company back in the mid-2000s. With it being over a decade since King left, he highlighted Rockstar’s success and the reasons which led up to him jumping ship shortly after the production of major Grand Theft Auto titles.

Rockstar Games is known for creating hugely ambitious games that often turn out to be some of gaming’s most loved franchises. Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto, and Bully are all titles that Rockstar has prided itself on since its beginning in the early 2000s. More recently though, Rockstar has had its fair share of issues. Reports of poor working conditions were revealed around the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, last year co-founder and lead writer Dan Houser departed from the company, and just this month Rockstar has been punished for dipping its toes into nostalgia after the controversial release of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy.Jamie King – co-founder at Rockstar – departed from the company much earlier than any of these recent controversies. In the mid-2000s, Rockstar was hitting its stride after releasing critically acclaimed and much-loved games such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, yet still King decided to leave the company. Speaking to Spanish YouTuber killazspain, King sought to explain his sudden departure from the company at what was a period of great success, his time with Grand Theft Auto and his thoughts on the developers as well.

Jamie King – co-founder at Rockstar – departed from the company much earlier than any of these recent controversies. In the mid-2000s, Rockstar was hitting its stride after releasing critically acclaimed and much-loved games such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, yet still King decided to leave the company. Speaking to Spanish YouTuber killazspain, King sought to explain his sudden departure from the company at what was a period of great success, his time with Grand Theft Auto and his thoughts on the developers as well.

The conversation spanned for around twenty minutes, and through it King revealed that he and Rockstar had parted ways because of a miscommunication surrounding the direction the game’s producer would take following the success of Grand Theft Auto . “I left because I thought the situation was one-way,” King said. “and the situation was actually a different way, and the way I found out, I was just like ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’ Took all the fight, took all the excitement out for me.”

King also explained the personal aspect of his decision. Due to the creativeness of the gaming industry, often it’s hard to separate the person from the games they produce, and thus it is often seen as a personal decision whenever a studio cuts ties with a developer, such as Hideo Kojima’s departure from Konami in 2015. “It was personal,” King stated. “But at the same time … I understand the terrain that I’m in and if I don’t like it, I need to be the one that moves on.”

Jamie King was the first major name to leave Rockstar back in 2006, and he also stated that he has no plans on returning to the studio. The co-founder has made his mark through the production of Bully, Max Payne, and others, and appears happy in his pursuit of other passions.