In 2014, it was announced that Grand Theft Auto V lead Leslie Benzies would be taking a sabbatical from Rockstar North. In early 2016, it came out that he would be leaving the studio outright, and several months later he launched legal action against his former employer. Now, we’ve found out what he plans to do next.
Benzies has recently taken steps to incorporate a total of five new businesses, according to a report from the Scotsman. While there are few details as to what these companies will do, the scant information we have confirms that Benzies has no plans to leave the gaming industry behind.
Of the five new companies, we know the most about Royal Circus Games Limited at this early stage. Documents have been submitted to the United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office that confirms that the firm has been incorporated with the intention of developing games for consoles, PCs, and mobile devices.
Furthermore, the company has trademarked the phrase Time for a New World and the corresponding hashtag #TFANW. If this relates to the debut project from the newly assembled studio, it could be that Benzies is preparing to launch his own rival to the juggernaut Grand Theft Auto series.
This would make a lot of sense, as he played a major role throughout the franchise’s 3D era. After joining up with the studio to work on Space Station Silicon Valley in the 1990s, he served as a producer on every single console installment since Grand Theft Auto III, as well as other major Rockstar releases like Red Dead Redemption and Manhunt 2.
It seems that Benzies is also keen to be part of the ongoing rise of virtual reality. One of the other companies the designer has set up is called VR-Chitect Limited, and will apparently work on headsets, glasses, and software. The three other companies are registered as Everywhere Game Limited, Starship Group Limited, and Royal Circus Technologies Limited.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that Benzies would dive into a bunch of new projects, now that his working relationship with Rockstar has come to a close. Shortly after the debut of Grand Theft Auto V, he joked that he and other top brass had “about 45 years worth of ideas” for where the series could go. It seems that his portion of that creative output won’t go to waste.