It seems that Rockstar Games, the makers of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, have snapped up Ruffian Games. The Dundee studio are known for making Crackdown 2, and most recently helped out with Halo: The Master Chief Collection. While neither Rockstar nor Ruffian have announced anything publicly, records filed with Companies House say that Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive now own at least a majority stake in Ruffian. Apparently they’re now renamed to Rockstar Dundee, and I’m disappointed they didn’t give a nod to Rockstar North’s office down south in Edinburgh by taking the name Rockstar Norther.
Documents filed with the government’s Companies House say the big change happened on October 1st, as reported by TheGamer. Companies House make clear that they don’t verify or validate documents filed with them, they only run basic checks, but this would be an elaborate and weirdly niche prank.
Ruffian Games formed in 2008 with folks from a number of now-defunct Scottish studios, including Realtime Worlds and Rage. They have connections to Rockstar in tangled web of the Scottish games industry, including creative director Billy Thomson, who was a level designer on GTA in its top-down days. Rockstar’s origins are in Dundee, having grown from DMA Design before moving to Edinburgh. There’s a wee Lemmings statue in a Dundee park.
It’s not yet clear what Rockstar Dundee’s role will/would be. Ruffian were apparently hiring for something working with Rockstar last year. They have a history of chipping in on games made by other teams, and Rockstar do have a network of satellite studios doing just that. Or maybe they’d want Ruffian still leading games of their own too. Who knows!
Rockstar and Take-Two will surely confirm soon whether this is true or not. I’ve sent Rockstar a note to ask. Until then, they still have time to do the right thing and rename the studio Rockstar Norther.
Disclosure: I have some pals who work at Rockstar, doing stuff, idk.