Rockstar Games sets up shop in Los Angeles with new studio

This recent development comes not long after Rockstar Games acquired motion capture company Standard Deviation.


Grand Theft Auto fans have been closely monitoring any updates coming from Rockstar Games, eagerly awaiting more details about GTA 6. The excitement surrounding the upcoming installment has been building up, and there's a glimmer of hope on the horizon. A recent job listing strongly suggests that the renowned American game developer is in the process of establishing a new studio in California.

The origins of Rockstar's newest studio can be traced back to the acquisition of Standard Deviation, a Santa Monica-based company that specializes in motion capture software and hardware. Currently, Rockstar Games has unveiled a webpage bearing a banner that reads: "Standard Deviation is now a part of Rockstar Games."

Soon after the acquisition, Rockstar Games published a job listing seeking an Electronics Engineer. What caught the attention of Twitter user @morsmutual_ (who spotted this first) was a specific segment of the job description, which read: "Rockstar Games is seeking an Electronics Engineer to join a team focused on designing and building cutting-edge hardware tools for motion capture and game production. This is a full-time permanent position based out of Rockstar's unique game development studio in Santa Monica."

Since then, the internet has been rife with speculation on what the new studio might be working on. Given the strong likelihood of this studio being a rebranding of Standard Deviation and its emphasized description as a "unique development studio," it's highly plausible that Rockstar Games is establishing a presence in Los Angeles as a strategic move to streamline the process of engaging actors, a significant portion of whom are centered in the entertainment hub of Hollywood.

Though it's unlikely that Rockstar already has a project in the works for the new studio, the timing of this move couldn't be more opportune. The ongoing actors strike and the stipulations outlined by SAG-AFTRA specify that the strike does not cover commercial or video game work, a fact that plays to the advantage of game developers.

GTA fans are well aware that the Los Santos city featured in GTA V is inspired by the city of Los Angeles, and Del Perro is derived from Santa Monica. However, recent GTA 6 leaks reveal that the upcoming game will take players back to Vice City, which is based off Miami, Florida. With this in mind, most fans speculate that the Santa Monica studio could potentially become the new home of the rumored Bully 2 or the sequel to the 2011 detective-adventure game, L.A. Noire.

The latter appears to be the front-runner, considering the original game was based in Los Angeles and employed motion capture advancements for the interrogation gameplay, as players were required to gauge whether interviewees were lying through their reactions.

Given that the production of L.A. Noire incurred a substantial expense exceeding $50 million for Rockstar Games (making it one of the most expensive games ever made), investing in a motion capture company and hiring engineers to design and build motion capture equipment for future projects is simply good business.

L.A. Noire has sold over 7.5 million copies.

Rockstar Games currently owns a global network of 11 subsidiary studios, including Rockstar San Diego, the California studio that birthed the arcade-style racing gaming Midnight Club and the Red Dead franchise.

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  1. I want to see them open up a studio in Florida next! Then they can have the IRL spots of two of their most popular games.

Caleb Sama

Caleb Sama // Articles: 476

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