Rockstar's top writer resigns before GTA 6 is officially announced

Vice President of Writing Michael Unsworth has left the studio after 16 years and several blockbuster titles.

Michael Unsworth worked on a number of hit titles at Rockstar.
Michael Unsworth worked on a number of hit titles at Rockstar.

Rockstar has been teasing Grand Theft Auto 6 in recent weeks and it seems the game's announcement is just around the corner - hopefully. We have been waiting years after all. However, in a stunning development, the studio's top writer has apparently resigned from his post.

Michael Unsworth, VP of writing at Rockstar Games, has reportedly left the studio. The writer's departure has yet to be confirmed by Rockstar or parent company Take-Two Interactive as of writing. However, Unsworth's LinkedIn profile has been updated to indicate that he has left Rockstar this year.

Unsworth has a very impressive portfolio of work having written Grand Theft Auto 4, Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, GTA 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Max Payne 3 during his 16-year tenure at Rockstar, all of which are critically acclaimed titles. 

We assume that he also worked on Grand Theft Auto 6 before leaving the company. GTA 6 has been in development for several years now and Unsworth would surely have made his mark on the upcoming game before his departure.

The resignation of Unsworth is the most recent in a string of departures by Grand Theft Auto series writers. Dan Houser left the studio shortly after the release of Red Dead Online in March 2020. Jeffrey Crawford "Lazlow" Jones (yes, THAT Lazlow) also left Rockstar in August 2020.

Unsworth, Houser, and Rupert Humphries are the three main writers of Rockstar's most recent titles including Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto 5. Humphries is reportedly still connected with the studio.

Fans of the Grand Theft Auto series on the PS5 subreddit are lamenting the loss of key Rockstar employees. The users are worried that the story of Grand Theft Auto 6 will not have the same depth as GTA 5 and Red Dead 2. Others fear that without the prominent writers in the series, the studio may shorten the single-player campaign and focus more on the online side of GTA 6.

However, some users point out that the story of Grand Theft Auto 6 would have already been completed at this point. Given the massive amounts of GTA 6 leaks last year, it would be safe to assume that most (if not all) of the story for the upcoming game was already written a while ago.

Unsworth, Dan Houser, and Rupert Humphries were the main writers of GTA 5.
Unsworth, Dan Houser, and Rupert Humphries were the main writers of GTA 5.

The GTA 6 rumor mill has been buzzing lately with Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick seemingly hinting at the release window for the highly-anticipated sequel. According to Zelnick, Take-Two is targeting $8 billion in sales during the fiscal year 2025. Grand Theft Auto 6 is the only game in Rockstar's pipeline that can generate that many sales.   

Well, for now, fans of the series will have to wait for the official announcement of Grand Theft Auto 6. There is speculation that the upcoming title will be announced at The Game Awards in December and released around the holiday season.

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  1. Getting bad feelings about this. Maybe he was contracted and hated the direction they took GTA and quit soon as he could?

    1. ikr? who just leaves like this prior to one of the biggest games in recent years releasing!?

    1. That is what I am thinking. If he just quit it could be down to bad blood which is concerning.

Darryl Lara

Darryl Lara // Articles: 1110

Darryl has been gaming since the early 90s, loves to read books and watch TV. He spends his free time outside of gaming and books by riding his motorcycle and taking photographs. You can find Darryl on Instagram. Check him out on Steam and Xbox too.
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