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Veteran Grand Theft Auto writer and producer Lazlow Jones has left Rockstar Games.
Jones had worked on the series for nearly 20 years as a writer and producer and is perhaps best known for producing the dialogue for the series’ characters and satirical radio stations, as well as appearing as the host of GTA V’s Chattersphere and Fame or Shame.
Detailing his Rockstar career on LinkedIn (via GTAmen), Jones said he is currently working on several projects, including development of shows for Disney and Netflix and “consulting for a video game company”.
“I worked for nearly 20 years at Rockstar Games as a Director, Producer and Writer for history-making franchises Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Bully, Max Payne, Midnight Club and more,” he wrote.
“I was co-chair of the Rockstar Games Production department and was responsible for in-game creative audio and video content, working directly for and writing with Rockstar co-founder and Head of Creative Dan Houser.”
He added: “I built and led teams of writers, producers, illustrators, animators, motion graphics artists and video editors to help create some of the biggest and most influential media across entertainment including the over $6bn grossing Grand Theft Auto V.
“My teams have produced videogame trailers, gameplay videos, commercials, live Twitch streams, location recording- including facial capture technology, motion capture shoots, and in-game radio and TV content, including original animated shows.”
The writer is the latest senior veteran to depart the Grand Theft Auto developer. Dan Houser, Rockstar’s creative lead of more than 20 years, left the studio in March. In 2016, influential Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies also departed.
Rockstar Games’ parent company Take-Two played down the impact of Houser’s departure in February, insisting that “things couldn’t be better” at the Grand Theft Auto studio.
A recent Kotaku report claimed work on the unannounced next GTA title was “still early in development” and that it could be “moderately sized” upon release, partly to reduce employee stress and crunch, before being regularly expanded over time.
The article’s author, Jason Schreier, also tweeted: “The next GTA is still a ways away, so it’ll be a while before we see whether the company’s attempts to mitigate crunch are really successful, but in the last year Rockstar has made several quality-of-life improvements and replaced managers that staff described as toxic.”
Originally released for PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2013 before launching for current-gen consoles and PC, Grand Theft Auto V is reportedly the highest-grossing media title of all time, having brought in over $6 billion.
Rockstar recently confirmed plans to bring an “expanded and enhanced” version of GTA V to next-gen consoles in the second half of 2021.