Rockstar North has achieved incredible success with Leslie Benzies at the helm but today they confirmed his departure.
Rockstar North has played a huge part in the success of the GTA franchise and other Rockstar titles such as the well received Red Dead Redemption which sadly never made it on to PC. With this in mind, it’s disappointing to hear that Leslie Benzies has now moved on.
His departure was confirmed in a statement sent to Kotaku after he didn’t return from a a sabbatical following the release of GTA V. The statement from Rockstar reads:
“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.”
Benzies had been with Rockstar since 1999 and shortly after his arrival went on to work on the GTA franchise. Benzies’ role will now be filled by Rockstar’s Aaron Garbut and Rob Nelson. Why Benzies left will probably remain a mystery for some time.
Benzies will also be know as the man who saved St Stephen’s Church in Stockbridge, Edinburgh. A fantastic building which I had the pleasure of performing in while I attended school in the city in the early 90s. He deserves a huge thanks for that alone.