Former Rockstar Games President Gets $42 Million To Create Grand Theft Auto Rival
Grand Theft Auto might have some competition: the former Rockstar North president has secured $42 million to develop a competitor for the hit game.
Leslie Benzies – who was the lead producer on GTA 3 through GTA 5, having also worked on several other games in the hugely successful series – is now set to develop his new venture, titled Everywhere.
Benzies’ new studio, Build a Rocket Boy, recently secured the million-dollar fund from Cayman funds and cryptocurrency investors, according to data from the consultancy Beauhurst.
According to a report from The Telegraph, Everywhere is an open-world science fiction game where ‘technology has brought human kind to the precipice’ in a vast multiplayer simulation.
The former president of Rockstar raised the cash for the upcoming sci-fi video game in his company’s latest funding round from investors such as Netease, Makers and Galaxy Interactive – the latter of which is a fund of Galaxy Digital, an investment company founded by cryptocurrency investor Mike Novogratz.
It comes after Benzies, a Bafta-winning producer, departed Rockstar Games in 2016. Shortly afterwards, he established Build a Rocket Boy – initially called Royal Circus Games (RCG) – alongside a collective of other studios to work specifically on Everywhere.
However, Benzies didn’t leave Rockstar on good terms; after he left the company it threatened legal action over his new studio’s name, claiming its acronym was too close to Rockstar Games (RSG) and that the studio was trying to poach Rockstar employees.
Both parties were involved in a legal battle from 2016 to 2019, with Benzies accusing Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive of ‘numerous deceptions’, suing them for $150 million in unpaid royalties and accusing them of forcing him from the company.
The case was settled confidentially out of court last year, and according to Take Two’s latest accounts, any and all disputes with its former employee have now been resolved.
Although Benzies is keeping any details regarding his newest project close to his chest, he has revealed the game will feature an open world. He has also said he wants players to be given huge freedom of choice across a variety of game modes.
If it’s anything like his previous work, I’d say we’ve got a lot to look forward to. Not only did Benzies help design GTA III, GTA: San Andreas and GTA IV, but he also helped build GTA V – Rockstar’s biggest success.
The game, which quickly became the most financially successful video game of all time, has sold more than 135 million copies and made more than $6bn in sales. Who else can’t wait?
Everywhere does not yet have a release date.
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Topics: Gaming, Games, Grand Theft Auto, Now, Rockstar, video games