From GTA to Red Dead Redemption: How Rockstar Games made its name in the Esports industry?

Case Study Jul 10, 2022

It would be a lie if someone says that they haven't played GTA once in their life. The publisher of one of the most iconic games of all time, Grand Theft Auto (GTA), Rockstar Games is a house name in the Esports world. It has been around for more than 2 decades now and is still going strong. In this blog, we'll be talking about the journey of Rockstar Games from its establishment to its current position in the gaming industry.


Rockstar Games, Inc. is an American video game publisher based in New York City. The company was established in December 1998 as a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive using the assets Take-Two had previously acquired from BMG Interactive. All companies organized under Rockstar Games bear the "Rockstar" name and logo. Rockstar Games predominantly publishes games in the action-adventure genre, while racing games also saw success for the company.

One of such action-adventure game franchises is Grand Theft Auto, which Rockstar Games took over from BMG Interactive, which published the series' original 1997 entry. The most recent main game in the series, Grand Theft Auto V, has sold over 155 million copies since its release in September 2013, making it one of the best-selling video games of all time. Other popular franchises published by Rockstar Games are Red Dead, Midnight Club, Max Payne, and Manhunt.

(credits to MySmartPrice)

History of Rockstar Games

History was created on March 12,1998 when Take-Two Interactive announced its acquisition of the assets of dormant British video game publisher BMG Interactive from BMG Entertainment (a unit of Bertelsmann). In exchange, Take-Two was to issue 1.85 million shares (around 16%) of its common stock to BMG Entertainment. Through this acquisition, Take-Two obtained several of BMG Interactive's former intellectual properties, including DMA Design's Grand Theft Auto and Space Station Silicon Valley.

This led to the birth of the Rockstar Games.

In October 2011, Dan Houser told Famitsu that Rockstar Games was intentionally avoiding developing games in the first-person shooter genre, because "it is in our DNA to avoid doing what other companies are doing the goal point of Rockstar is to have the players really feel what we're trying to do." Houser went on to say "Our games up to now have been different from any genre that existed at the time; we 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. If we make the sort of games we want to play, then we believe people are going to buy them.

In September 2019, Rockstar Games announced that they had released their own game launcher, a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications service.

The company acquired the Scottish studio Ruffian Games in October 2020, rebranding the studio as Rockstar Dundee.

Not just this, Rockstar Games has always been involved in charity works that make it stand out in the industry that only runs on profits and numbers.

(credits to Wikipedia)

Games by Rockstar Games

Let us take a look at the list of games that Rockstar Games published in their 2 decades-long journeys in the Esports Industry.

Grand Theft Auto: The genre-defining classics of the original Grand Theft Auto Trilogy: Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. GTA is one of the highest-selling series of all time.

Red Dead Redemption: The story of the game is set in America, in 1899. The third game in Rockstar's Wild West-themed series is a prequel to the events of Red Dead Redemption, returning to the open-world action of its predecessor.

L.A. Noire: The VR Case files: L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files takes seven cases from the original game and redesigns them specifically for virtual reality.

Manhunt 2: Manhunt 2 is a violent, stealth-action game developed and published by Rockstar Games. It is the sequel to 2003's Manhunt, though shares no connection to the first game's plot or characters. The game was released on October 31, 2007, for PSP, Playstation 2, PC, Wii, and later ported to PSN.

(credits to rockstar games)

Why Rockstar Games is still going strong in the Gaming Industry?

There is a list of reasons that makes Rockstar Games stand out in so many ways in the industry. Here are some of them:

  • Rockstar realized that, in order to keep players immersed in its sandboxes, the worlds must feel real and alive. As such, the company always assigns importance to the setting.
  • Rockstar games are meticulously presented, with high attention to detail and minimal recycling of assets. Each successive game from the studio has stripped away more and more of the cookie-cutter location designs to make every part of the world feel unique.
  • Early on, Rockstar focused on providing self-contained, single-player experiences, but it didn’t take long before the studio started to bring its games online. This made them stand out in multiple ways.
  • Throughout its history, Rockstar has taken on the role of provocateur and broached several taboo topics.

Rockstar Games has stood the test of time all these years and has managed to maintain its numbers all this time while upholding the company's philosophy.

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