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Leslie Peter Benzies (born 17 January 1971) is a Scottish video game producer and the former president of Rockstar North,[2] a subsidiary of Rockstar Games. He was the lead developer on the Grand Theft Auto series, taking responsibility from Grand Theft Auto III to Grand Theft Auto V. Benzies is no longer working for Rockstar, and is in a lawsuit with them over royalty payments. Benzies founded a development studio in late 2016; the team is currently working on a game titled Everywhere.

Leslie Benzies
Leslie Benzies @ Everywhere Game.jpg
Benzies in 2014
Born Leslie Peter Benzies
(1971-01-17) 17 January 1971 (age 46)
Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
Residence Edinburgh, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Citizenship British
Occupation President (former)
Game producer
Game designer
Employer Rockstar North (former)
Awards AIAS Hall of Fame Award (2014) [1]



Leslie was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, but moved to Elgin when he was young. When he was 11 his father, Leonard, purchased a Dragon 32 computer. Leslie taught himself how to program and wrote his first game.

Leslie’s professional career as a video game programmer began in 1995 at DMA Design (now Rockstar North), where he was team lead developing the Nintendo 64 platform game Space Station Silicon Valley. This game was released in October 1998. Benzies then became producer of GTA III and many subsequent versions to GTA V/GTA Online.[3]

Benzies took sabbatical leave from Rockstar from 1 September 2014. In January 2016 it was announced that he had left the company.[4] On 12 April 2016, Leslie Benzies started legal action against Rockstar Games and its parent Take Two Interactive claiming $150 million in unpaid royalties.[5][6][7] Take-Two and Rockstar claim that they "have sought unsuccessfully to resolve this issue through mediation and now seek judicial clarification that would resolve this controversy." They also deny that Benzies had any good reason to leave Rockstar North. In addition to a judicial clarification Take-Two and Rockstar are seeking "compensatory damages against Benzies in an amount to be determined at trial," and they expect to be awarded "their costs, expenses, disbursements, and reasonable counsel fees in an amount to be determined at trial."[citation needed]

Benzies founded a development studio in late 2016; the team is currently working on a game titled Everywhere. The studios are based in Edinburgh, Scotland and Los Angeles,[8] headed up by Matthew Smith and Colin Entwistle.


Year Game title Role
2001 Grand Theft Auto III Producer[9]
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Producer[10]
2004 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Producer
2005 Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Producer
2006 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories Producer
2007 Manhunt 2 Producer
2008 Grand Theft Auto IV Producer
2009 Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned Producer
2009 Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Producer
2009 Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony Producer
2010 Red Dead Redemption Producer
2011 L.A. Noire Producer
2012 Max Payne 3 Executive producer
2013 Grand Theft Auto V Producer, game designer[11]
TBA Everywhere


In June 2014, Leslie announced a deal to purchase the St Stephen's Church in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, to preserve the building and create a trust composed of members of the community to manage it.

Leslie also has a non-for profit foundation ‘The Benzies Foundation’[12] which encourages and facilitates good health and fitness amongst Scottish communities.


  1. ^ "D.I.C.E Special Awards". Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  2. ^ Retrieved 10 June 2013
  3. ^ "Leslie Benzies". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  4. ^ Klepek, Patrick (12 January 2016). "Rockstar North Boss Leslie Benzies Is Out After Nearly Two Decades". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Dave, Morgan (12 April 2016). "GTA Creator Sues Rockstar for $150 Million". WholesGame. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  6. ^ Campbell, Colin (14 April 2016). "The great Grand Theft Auto lawsuit explained". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Benzies vs Rockstar". Scribd. Retrieved 2016-11-07. 
  8. ^ "Leslie Benzies recruits former GTA veterans and teams up with Amazon". 
  9. ^ "The Top 7 Ways Grand Theft Auto III changed the face of gaming". gamesradar. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  10. ^ "Exploring Grand Theft Auto: Vice City's lasting impact on society with Rockstar's Leslie Benzies". Digital Trends. 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  11. ^ Simmons, Alex (2012-11-13). "Grand Theft Auto 5's Unseen Mastermind". IGN. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-01-26.