Rockstar's rise and fall told by the common worker

This is the tale of Jeff Williams, a web producer, who on his personal blog tells the inside story of the average man at Rockstar games, from just after Grand Theft Auto III's launch, to right before the "Hot Coffee" incident. A feature he says the company was well aware of, but due to massive turnover and disregard for the depths some PC gamers will go, Rockstar ended up lying about their knowledge of "Hot Coffee." That lie, along with other Rockstar games, helped create the video game censorship and regulatory issues we face today.

Although not nearly as devastating as the EA Spouse chronicles, Williams does spin the tale of a company that hit it big with the GTA franchise, a franchise he says had little to do with the Rockstar he worked for, and never found another. Jeff says, "It was obvious to me from the start that the company had built itself on one major hit game. The question was whether they knew how to capitalize on that and create other hit games. Manhunt was my answer, and that answer was 'no'."

By the end he says Manhunt turned a lot of people off, burnout was high, management was inexperienced and it just fell apart with "Hot Coffee," which he says the company was well aware of the whole time. Rockstar still hasn't found another viable franchise as we all sit and wait for Grand Theft Auto IV. A good read to understand the average man's experience at a company, away from the suits and the PR spin.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.