Leslie Benzies, former studio boss at Rockstar North and an instrumental driving force behind the Grand Theft Auto series, has officially left the company.
News of his departure was first reported by Kotaku, citing that after almost two decades with the reputable developer, Benzies has now called time on his stint with the Scotland-based studio after going on sabbatical back in September of 2014.
The official statement from Rockstar is as follows:
“We can confirm that Leslie Benzies went on sabbatical on September 1, 2014 and has decided not to return to work for the company. We are very grateful for Leslie’s contributions to Rockstar over the last 15 years as we worked together to make some amazing games.
“Leslie helped us build an incredible team that will continue to create great experiences for our fans. Leslie will always be a friend to the company and of course we are going to miss him but we wish him the absolute best for the future.”
Outside of work on Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar North has shifted focus away from the company’s marquee open world series in years past, working on the likes of Manhunt, acclaimed western Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3.
Having first joined the studio in 1999, Rockstar extended its own gratitude to Leslie Benzies, stating that he will “always be a friend to the company.” We wish him the best in his future endeavours.