The former head of Rockstar North, and one of the developers of the Grand Theft Auto series, Leslie Benzies, has accused Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar, and the Houser brothers of withholding royalties belonging to him.
After being on sabbatical from September 1st, 2014, Leslie left Rockstar North this past January.
According to reports, he is now suing GTA developer Take-Two Interactive for $150 million, saying the company tried to force him out after his time off.
Christopher Bakes, A lawyer representing Leslie Benzies, released the following statement on his behalf:
“While on sabbatical, Mr. Benzies discovered numerous deceptions on the part of Take-Two, Rockstar, Rockstar North Ltd, Sam Houser and Dan Houser, who sought to force him out of the company and terminate his portion of royalty payments based upon arbitrary actions by the company’s royalty Allocation Committee, a committee that may or may not have actually ever met.”
Benzies also claims he went back to work on April 1, 2015. However, his lawyer also stated “Mr. Benzies found himself unable to enter the Rockstar North office because his facilities access device had been deactivated. Once security let him inside, Benzies was then ordered to leave by the Rockstar North office manager without reason.”
Today Rockstar has released their official statment to IGN & it read as follows:
“Leslie Benzies was a valued employee of our company for many years. Sadly, the events that culminated in his resignation ultimately stem from his significant performance and conduct issues. Despite our repeated efforts to address and resolve these issues amicably both before and after his departure, Leslie has chosen to take this route in an attempt to set aside contract terms to which he previously agreed on multiple occasions. His claims are entirely without merit and in many instances downright bizarre, and we are very confident this matter will be resolved in our favor. A core ethos since Rockstar’s inception has been the concept of “the team”. It is deeply disappointing and simply wrong for Leslie to attempt to take personal credit for what has always been the tremendous efforts of the entire Rockstar team, who remain hard at work delivering the most immersive and engaging entertainment experiences we can for our fans.”
“We do not intend to comment further on this matter”.
Stay tuned to EverydayElectronics for an update to the story as more details are confirmed. What are your thoughts on Leslie Benzies suing the group? Comment below.