Former president of Rockstar North and lead developer on the GTA franchise, Leslie Benzies, has launched new companies and has already trademarked several titles.
Benzies is currently in a lawsuit with Rockstar North and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive, over royalty payments. The former Rockstar head claims that he was forced out of the company and has claimed $150 million in royalties. “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,” reads the statement from Benzies' legal team.
Following Benzies’ claim, Rockstar has classified it as "downright bizarre", and followed up with a counterclaim.
With the legal battle still going, Benzies has now established a total of five new companies, including Royal Circus Games Limited, VR-Chitect Limited, Starship Group and Everywhere Game Limited. Judging from the filing history of Royal Circus Games Limited, the company is dedicated to game development for PC, consoles and mobile devices.
Several trademarks have already been registered by Royal Circus, including
“Time for a New World” and “Everywhere”. The #TFANW (Time for a New World) hashtag trademark was also recently registered by the company.
Benzies is considered as one of the most prominent figures in the videogame industry. We will keep you updated on this matter.