Leslie Benzies is one of the masterminds behind the GTA series. However, he left the studio back in 2016. He had sued Take-Two Interactive for $150 million in unpaid royalties after he was allegedly trying to be forced out by the company after taking a sabbatical. The claim was settled in 2018.
Per Video Game Chronicle, the year before the lawsuit was settled, he went on to create his own development studio, Build a Rocket Boy. He has brought over many former Rockstar employees that have helped build past GTA titles.
According to a report from The Telegraph, Benzies’ studio has received investment from companies including Netease. On top of that, the latest funding round for the studio raised £32m, according to data from consultancy Beauhurst.
The first game the studio is working on is titled Everywhere. He has stated to Venturebeat a few years ago that it will be unlike anything he has done before. He stated:
“Everywhere has a lot of traditional game mechanics but we’re going for something more that draws inspiration from, well, everywhere. Players are getting smarter and require more from their games, and we want players to have the real freedom to live in our worlds in the ways they want to. We’re aiming to offer a huge variety of game modes and styles that not only tell our stories but also enable players to live in the identities and adventures they most want to explore.”
Leslie Benzies stated at the time that the studio would be using Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine to develop the game.
GTA is always going to sell like hotcakes. There probably won’t ever be a true “rival” to Rockstar, at least through their eyes. However, if there is someone who could possibly do it, Benzies might be that guy.
Rockstar Games, Rockstar North, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Leslie Benzies, Everywhere
World news – US – Former President of Rockstar North has Raised $42 Million for a GTA Rival of His Own