Development vet led series from 2001’s GTA III up to GTA V

GTA producer and studio head Leslie Benzies leaves Rockstar

A major driving force behind Grand Theft Auto is no longer working at Rockstar North.

Leslie Benzies served as producer for the iconic crime franchise from 2001’s Grand Theft Auto III up until its most recent instalment, 2013’s GTA V. He also helped lead the creation of Manhunt and Red Dead Redemption.

Benzies became part of the Scottish studio when it was still known as DMA Design, spending more than 15 years near the top of the chain as a producer after a brief stint programming.

In 2014 he was inducted into the Academy of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame, alongside Rockstar founders Sam and Dan Houser.

Nearly a year and a half ago, following the release of GTA V, Benzies went on an extended sabbatical – which he has now opted not to return from.

“We can confirm that Leslie Benzies went on sabbatical on September 1, 2014 and has decided not to return to work for the company,” Rockstar told Kotaku in a statement.

“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.”

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