After close to two decades, embarking on one of the most legendary hot streaks in gaming history, the fundamental creative minds behind Rockstar's biggest titles have departed the studio.
Save for one of the founding members, Sam Houser, staying behind, his brother - and lead narrative designer - Dan Houser stepped away in February 2020, long-time producer Leslie Benzies departed back in December 2014, and very recently, Lazlow Jones - another veteran writer and producer - left as well.
It can't be overstated how ludicrously important and influential these individuals have been, not just spearheading every release from GTA III to GTA V, but in Dan Houser's case, being head writer on Bully and Max Payne 3, alongside pitching in on pretty much every major Rockstar title.
Whilst the reality of their combined departure is shrouded in mystery - save for Benzies who got involved in a bitter legal dispute over unpaid royalties from Take Two - it leads me to Dan Houser's final Rockstar game; their newest title, Red Dead Redemption 2, and a potential sense of closure.
Now, I'm going into full fan theory territory, but the connection between Red Dead 2's core thematics and messaging lines up perfectly with a reputable veteran of the industry hanging up their hat.
Why? Well, for the longest time, Rockstar's games have had a problem.