In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser weighed in on whether games are art and if the studio responsible for Grand Theft Auto will ever switch gears and create movies instead of games. The question is a viable one as more details emerge about its latest project LA Noire. Frankly, LA Noire is as close to being a movie production as you can get the way Houser describes it:
"The game, like many of our recent games, has been an absolutely enormous production," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "With ‘L.A. Noire,’ we employed a massive number of actors in the game – over 400 – along with hair and make-up artists, a great television director, and as the game is set in the golden era of Hollywood, a lot of original costumes, props and other research from the studios themselves."
On games being art, Houser wasn’t quite ready to make that leap, though he says that Rockstar is on their way towards creating a product that falls into that category.. someday:
"We obviously feel that games are an amazing creative medium that have unique rewards and unique challenges," he explained. "Games today are moving towards creative maturity, as both people’s skill at designing them improves and the underlying technology to build them makes more and more possible. Production values have improved massively in games over the last five years."
Finally, Houser says that movies are not part of the company’s vision right now but they could be in the future:
"If we were to attempt to make a movie, we would like to make it ourselves, or at least work in collaboration with the best talent, so at least if it is bad, we can know we failed on our own terms," he said. "But doing that takes time, and making games properly takes a lot of time. So, we may make movies one day, with the right property and the right partnership, but we have not found the time to do that yet."