Leslie Benzies, former lead producer on the Grand Theft Auto games and President of Rockstar North, has officially begun a legal battle with former employer, Take-Two Interactive, for $150 million in unpaid royalties.
Benzies’ case is that when he left the company in January, after going on a 17-month sabbatical, it wasn’t voluntary. He accuses co-founders, Dan and Sam Houser, of forcing him out and cutting off his royalty payments. Benzies claims that he did try to return to work earlier in April, only to see that his key had been deactivated. The statement follows that after Benzies was let in by security, he was then told to leave the building by the Rockstar North office manager.
Take-Two has also filed a counter-suit against Benzies, claiming that he left the company , without “good reason”, officially on April 2, 2015. Documents pertaining to the Take-Two compensation plan say that by leaving the company this way Benzies is excluded from collecting pre- and post-termination royalties.
The two parties have reportedly been trying to work things outside the courtroom amicably since April with no successful settlement being reached. The counter-suit is meant to discuss the terms of Benzies departure and determine if he is owed any money. No date has been set yet for either of the cases.
Below is a tweet from user, Brendan Sinclair, which is part of Benzies’ statement against Take-Two. The document claims that Benzies was necessary in the completion of Red Dead Redemption.
There's some interesting reading in this Leslie Benzies-Rockstar suit, like this snippet about Red Dead Redemption. pic.twitter.com/QDGEbnjPsl
— Brendan Sinclair (@BrendanSinclair) April 12, 2016