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Donovan was a self-described “A&R chap” who signed fledgling bands to sublabels.When BMG launched an interactive division in 1993, the three friends jumped at the chance to work there, even though the Housers’ previous exposure to game design was fiddling around on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum, and the extent of Donovan’s coding experience was getting his computer to write TERRY IS COOL.It was October 2002, and I had been granted a rare interview with the gang behind the blockbuster game franchise: Sam, his younger brother Dan, and their childhood friend Terry Donovan.We were sitting in Rockstar's stylish New York City office as Sam explained that concerns about the violence in his games were unfounded because had a moral system hard-coded into it.It seems the blokes forgot that in life, as in , there are repercussions for the choices you make.INTRO LEVELDan and Sam Houser had dreamed of rock stardom since they were school kids in London.Along the way, the execs achieved the street cred and bad-boy rep of real rock stars.
The Housers weren’t the only wannabe rock stars at St. The father of their pal and classmate Terry Donovan directed the iconic video for the Robert Palmer song “Simply Irresistible,” and Terry DJ’d at techno clubs.
He’ll be sentenced in August, and his departure was emblematic of a company that has seen three CEOs and two CFOs leave since 2001.
For all the financial irregularities and management shuffles, though, a few lines of code written into one of Rockstar’s games would cause even bigger headaches.
A scruffy white college geek turned impresario, he had somehow insinuated himself into hip hop culture, working with the biggest acts, injecting his own sound, and making millions on his own terms.
“People like that inspire me so massively,” Sam Houser told me back in 2002.
Last October, Ryan Brant, cofounder and onetime CEO of Take-Two, resigned.