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Leslie Benzies (born 17 January 1971) is a Scottish video game producer and the former president of Rockstar North,[2] a subsidiary of Rockstar Games, both owned by Take-Two Interactive. 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.[3]

Leslie Benzies
Leslie Benzies @ Everywhere Game.jpg
Born (1971-01-17) 17 January 1971 (age 46)
Aberdeen, Scotland
Residence Edinburgh, Scotland
Occupation Video game producer, designer, programmer
Awards AIAS Hall of Fame Award (2014)[1]

BiographyEdit

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.[4]

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, after which he started assembling the team that would create Grand Theft Auto III.

In 2005 he and Sam Houser, President of Rockstar Games, received a BAFTA Special Award.[5]

In June 2014, he announced a deal to purchase the St Stephen's Church in Stockbridge, Edinburgh for a little over £500,000.[6] He plans to preserve the building and create a trust composed of members of the community to manage it.[7]

Benzies took sabbatical leave from Rockstar from 1 September 2014. In January 2016 it was announced that he had left the company.[8] On 12 April 2016, Leslie Benzies started legal action against Rockstar Games and its parent Take Two Interactive claiming $150 million in unpaid royalties.[9][10]

In January 2017 he set up five new companies including Royal Circus Games which intends to develop games for consoles, PCs and mobile devices.[11]

WorksEdit

Year Game title Role
2001 Grand Theft Auto III Producer[12]
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Producer[13]
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[14]
TBA Everywhere Designer

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "D.I.C.E Special Awards". Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  2. ^ http://www.giantbomb.com/leslie-benzies/3040-51121/ Retrieved 10 June 2013
  3. ^ "Benzies vs Rockstar". Scribd. Retrieved 2016-11-07. 
  4. ^ Bowditch, Gillian (27 April 2008). "Grand Theft Auto producer is Godfather of gaming". Sunday Times. Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "Games: Special Award in 2005". BAFTA. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "Rockstar North chief buys St Stephen’s Church". Edinburgh News. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Phyllis Stephen (27 June 2014). "St Stephen’s Church – future now assured". The Edinburgh Reporter. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  8. ^ Klepek, Patrick (12 January 2016). "Rockstar North Boss Leslie Benzies Is Out After Nearly Two Decades". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  9. ^ Dave, Morgan (12 April 2016). "GTA Creator Sues Rockstar for $150 Million". WholesGame. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  10. ^ Campbell, Colin (14 April 2016). "The great Grand Theft Auto lawsuit explained". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  11. ^ http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/289786/Former_Rockstar_North_chief_Leslie_Benzies_establishes_new_studio.php
  12. ^ "The Top 7 Ways Grand Theft Auto III changed the face of gaming". gamesradar. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  13. ^ "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. 
  14. ^ Simmons, Alex (2012-11-13). "Grand Theft Auto 5’s Unseen Mastermind". IGN. Retrieved 2017-01-26.