Rockstar's Houser Bros. join Time 100

Rockstar Games executives and creative leads named as two of the most influential artists and entertainers for 2009.

by

Even if Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars took a drubbing at retail, the creativity of the GTA series remains a towering achievement in the game industry's eyes. Its effect is now being appreciated--not demonized, for a change--in the mainstream media as well. Time magazine has named Rockstar Games cofounders Sam and Dan Houser in its list of the 100 most influential people in the world over the past year.

Sam and Dan Houser

The Housers' tribute entry on the Time 100 list was penned by The Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman. "What makes the Housers' creation unparalleled is that their games have a take on American cultural history," wrote Selman. "A smart take. A take that solidifies the culture's vision of its recent past. Was it a prominent film or book or record that defined how we look back on gang-era Los Angeles [in San Andreas]? No, it was a video game that uses movies, music, and writing to a greater effect."

"Who better summarized and satirized the drug-dealing Miami of the '80s [in Vice City]," he continued. "Or the New York City of now [in GTAIV]? The Housers are doing the work of Tom Wolfe, creating tapestries of modern times as detailed as those of Balzac or Dickens. At least, I assume that's true. Instead of reading those guys, I've been in Liberty City stealing tanks."

As has been the case in the past two years, Nintendo managing director Shigeru Miyamoto also ranked among the 100 most-influential list picked by Time's editors. Having landed the top slot in the popular-choice "Your Time 100" list last year, Miyamoto slipped to number 42 on the Internet voted-based chart in 2009. Topping this year's list, which combines user rating and popular votes, is Moot, better known as the founder of popular Internet meme-creating forum 4chan. Moot is also the highest-rated person on the list, although current top vote-getter is Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.

Discussion

54 comments
ScionofEntropy
ScionofEntropy

I hope we get to revisit Vice City and San Andreas in more "current" times, and I'm also kind of missing the sheer over-the-top fun of San Andreas. IV is still fun, but it felt much more restrained, even if they did still manage to make it great.

Xxcaptaininsano
Xxcaptaininsano

I would love to see them make another one like vice city.

townsenda1
townsenda1

I don't get it, Chinatown wars is a great game. It seems with Rockstar, every title gets more and more like the real thing. Nice Rockstar.

gameking5000
gameking5000

One of the most controversial developers getting in that list. I wonder how those who believe Grand Theft Auto is too violent think...

ajnaguy
ajnaguy

While I love the games (including Chinatown Wars) and agree with the award, to say that the games somehow transcend their source material ("Miami Vice," "Boyz N The Hood," and "Friday," to name a few) is just plain ridiculous. At best, these are nice, nostalgic nods to these icons of pop culture, and provide a framework for the juvenile entertainment we all get from, as Mr. Selman puts it, "stealing tanks," in the games. Where the innovation comes in, for me, is how each game gets closer to realism of sound and sight. Liberty City in IV actually seems highly populated and New York-like. These little clockwork worlds, where we have the freedom to do whatever we want, are the true innovation of the Grand Theft Auto series.

Toro_Nev
Toro_Nev

same here, chinatown wars rocked XD

tawagivercetti
tawagivercetti

All Hail the Houser Brothers. This praise is long, long overdue. Now how about some new dlc for gta iv, manhunt3 and San Andreas Stories? PLEASE. Rich buggers. I am proudly addicted to Chinatown wars and bought a ds just for it.

landisan
landisan

I don't know about anyone else but I enjoyed Chinatown Wars. Congratulations guys you deserve it.

lozvil
lozvil

They're the best.

okassar
okassar

Sweet:)The face of gaming has changed so much over the past decade.

coolkid93
coolkid93

Nice. I think that it's cool how the gta series improved over the past few years.

metalkid9
metalkid9

ok so maybe this should give them a hint to tell us about another release or tell us about the new dlc for the current gta

seksfeet7
seksfeet7

i agree with cowboy but what would you want them to add or do. i mean where would they go from here. actually now that i think about it Rockstar should have a suggestion box or something that would be cool

Cowboy-Bebop
Cowboy-Bebop

I would agree with this seven years ago when GTA 3 came out in 2002, but they really haven't done anything new and exciting to the GTA franchise since then. Better graphics and online, but nothing radical. I'm mean in the list of 100 most influential people show us your more than a one trick dog. I'm mean even though Hideo Kojima has the same dog, his at least learns new tricks. Don't get me wrong I've played and beaten all the GTA games, and they deserve to be on the list, just a lot sooner than 2009.

Azwethinkweiz89
Azwethinkweiz89

Love it or hate the fact is GTA is one of the biggest gaming series ever made with others like Super Mario, Guitar Hero, The Sims, Halo, Sonic, and Final Fantasy.

Ishy488
Ishy488

For the first time in a while I might acutally buy a copy of Time for something other than a big story

BattleSword1
BattleSword1

GTA has become such a huge part of American video game culture that these guys should probably be in the top 50 or so.

Patatopan
Patatopan

What, I thought fourchan couldn't be mentioned here.

crix3
crix3

Nice, well deserved too.

maverick_76
maverick_76

I have to admit that this is good news. Finally we are being taken seriously as an art medium, just as much so as movies and music.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

Well-deserved. While the Grand Theft Auto brand is starting to age, there's no denying the huge impact it had on the business, and pop culture in general. Good to see Miyamoto getting his love, too.

8smokes
8smokes

It's good for a change people are actually recognizing the greatness of GTA and not demeaning it.

zeeshan810
zeeshan810

yeah..Rockstar Games Sam and Dan Houser Deserves it! Congrats :D

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

Deserved... the GTA series offers social commentary with bite and even if it's occassionally too unsubtle for its own good, its sardonic look at American culture and so-called "counterculture" causes one to reexamine the artistic credibility of this genre, previously assumed nonexistent.

frankfurter209
frankfurter209

They absolutely deserve it. The collective GTA series from 3 to (especially) 4 is a work of mad scientist genius.

MarcJL31
MarcJL31

GTA is a great franchise. Yea some may say it has a negative influence. But that is where maturity, and ultimately, parental discretion come into play. In the end, they still made a great video game franchise.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Good to see some good work

Braddah_B
Braddah_B

I love that great video game minds are being recognized for their creativity and impact on our current culture. Selman's write-up is classic.

thekey
thekey

What more can I say. These are some great games, and they did a great job creating them. The franchises sold millions, sounds like to me they influenced a lot of "sandbox" games out there.

jazilla
jazilla

"most influential" doesn't always mean a positive influence. you can have a negative influence on things too. they are very influential, but really, in the grand scheme of things, GTA games aren't making the world a better place. It's just a game.

CoolKidX
CoolKidX

"2) The DS is marketed towards kids the most, and most parents won't buy a GTA game for their kids." true, its more for kids

Supericano2
Supericano2

finally something positive,great for them

84montecarlo
84montecarlo

Super Houser Bros. .... and duck hunt????

DM2438
DM2438

The GTA series is unique because it takes real life situations and makes it into a over the top entertaining game. Too many games rely on aliens, monsters, and just plain gimmicks to be good, but GTA keeps it simple and involving. I've been here for the entire series, and lets just say my childhood and life would not be the same without it. The Houser brothers are good in my book.

Adziboy
Adziboy

Oh and by the way, I love GTA IV. It was awesome in my opinion. I like the realism, the cars, just the thing I didn't like as much were the insta-headshots which seem to be in most games these days. In old games it was a lot harder to get headshots.... now you press R1 and you got it.

Adziboy
Adziboy

I wouldn't really call GTA 'creative' in a sense... I mean, it's everyday life. But, I'm not taking the light away from these guys, they're fantastic.

Malco_Vincenzo
Malco_Vincenzo

@ Deactivation " "2) The DS is marketed towards kids the most, and most parents won't buy a GTA game for their kids." Are you serious?... Is he serious?... Anybody, is he serious?" look at the sales for Chinatown Wars. yeah he's serious.

Deactivation
Deactivation

"2) The DS is marketed towards kids the most, and most parents won't buy a GTA game for their kids." Are you serious?... Is he serious?... Anybody, is he serious?

halomonkey1_3_5
halomonkey1_3_5

"2) The DS is marketed towards kids the most, and most parents won't buy a GTA game for their kids." lololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololol

GarysLaptop
GarysLaptop

That's pretty cool. Video games have become part of every culture.

Ra33z_19
Ra33z_19

GTA IV was an excellent, I fail to see how some people classify it as a sub-standard compared to GTA III, VC & SA.

suprsolider
suprsolider

Well, I hated GTA IV, it was too realistic, the controls were a major step back in my opinion, the cars handled like real cars and that is not what I liked about GTA. If I wanted realism, I would buy Gran Tourismo or other realistic simulators. I wanted to like GTA IV but the realistic controls put me off, I am sticking with the old GTA's. Also the reason why the DS GTA bombed is simple. 1) People don't want the overhead view. If the PS1 could go a 3-D GTA type thing with Driver 2, they could have done the same for the DS. GTA wasn't even popular until it went 3-D with GTA 3 2) The DS is marketed towards kids the most, and most parents won't buy a GTA game for their kids.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

Unlike the hoardes of bandwagons haters, I actually liked GTAIV a lot - especially its story and characters. And all the little jabs at popular culture were great touches - some of those radio shows were hilarious and ironic. Not to mention all the paranoia about terrorism.