Rockstar loses VP of writing, will this hurt Grand Theft Auto 6?

Michael, Trevor, and Franklin in GTA 5

Grand Theft Auto 6 might end up having a different feel from its predecessors as Rockstar Games recently lost the company’s top writer.

Michael Unsworth, the vice president of writing at Rockstar Games, has left the studio after 16 years. Rockstar is the publisher of the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead series, with Unsworth working on almost all its recent releases. 

Unsworth’s leaving the company went without any ceremony or announcement. According to his LinkedIn profile, he departed the company earlier this year though the exact timing is uncertain. According to his profile, he is not currently working for any other company. Besides putting an end date on his time with Rockstar Games, Unsworth also updated his bio to state he is an “accomplished writer who spent over 16 years working for Rockstar Games.”

grand theft auto 5

What games did Michael Unsworth work on?

Michael Unsworth worked on a number of major releases for Rockstar Games including Grand Theft Auto 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Max Payne 3.

Unsworth was a part of every major Rockstar Games title dating back to 2008 with Grand Theft Auto 4, where he wrote dialog for TV, radio, and pedestrians. From there, he worked as a writer on every game in a number of different roles and was credited as part of the production team for Red Dead Redemption, GTA 4’s DLC, and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. According to his LinkedIn profile, he became writing director in 2019 and became VP of writing in 2021. 

Unsworth worked on many titles during his time with Rockstar Games and even did some additional voice acting as well. Below is a list of all the games he worked on while with the company. 

  • Grand Theft Auto IV 
  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
  • Midnight Club Los Angeles
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Max Payne 3
  • L.A. Noire
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

How will this impact the release of Grand Theft Auto 6 and Rockstar as a whole?

It is unclear how Grand Theft Auto 6 will be impacted by the departure of Rockstar’s VP of writing. This is the second major departure from Rockstar’s writing team during the development of GTA 6, following writer and producer Dan Houser who left in 2020.

GTA 6 was technically in development right before GTA 5 was released, but didn’t fully go into production until 2015. The game has been in development for several years now, and it’s likely that Unsworth worked on GTA 6 at some point. With no exact details on how far along the game is in development, how involved Unsworth was in this process, or why Unsworth is no longer in his position, it’s impossible to guess what effects this may have.

Rockstar Games reportedly has other games in the works and recently re-released Red Dead Redemption on modern consoles. It’s unknown if Unsworth touched those during any development either. There isn’t much else being said on this or what impact it may have on the future of Rockstar Games.

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Written by Faith Lane

Faith Lane has been writing since the age of 17 about the many subjects she's passionate about, including gaming. Some of her favorite games include Disney Dreamlight Valley, Pokemon, GTA Online, and Minecraft. She loves fandoms and pop culture, and hopes to spread happiness through her work. She has also been published with Game Rant and Gameranx, and she can be followed on Twitter / X at @FaithLaneAuthor.

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