Leslie Benzies

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Leslie Benzies
Leslie Benzies Photograph.png
Born (1971-01-17) 17 January 1971 (age 45)
Aberdeen, Scotland
Residence Edinburgh, Scotland
Nationality British
Occupation Video game producer

Leslie Benzies (born 17 January 1971) is a Scottish video game producer and the former president of Rockstar North,[1] a subsidiary of Rockstar Games. He was the lead developer on the Grand Theft Auto series, taking responsibility from Grand Theft Auto III to Grand Theft Auto V. Benzies is no longer working for Rockstar, and is in a lawsuit with them over royalty payments.


Leslie was born in Aberdeen in Scotland, but moved to Elgin when he was young. When he was 11 his father, Leonard, purchased a Dragon 32 computer. Leslie taught himself how to program and wrote his first game.[2]

Leslie’s professional career as a video game programmer began in 1995 at DMA Design (now Rockstar North), where he was team lead developing the Nintendo 64 platform game Space Station Silicon Valley. This game was released in October 1998, after which he started assembling the team that would create the GTA series.

In 2005 he and Sam Houser, President of Rockstar Games, received a BAFTA Special Award.[3]

In June 2014, he announced a deal to purchase the St Stephen's Church in Stockbridge, Edinburgh for a little over £500,000.[4] He plans to preserve the building and create a trust composed of members of the community to manage it.[5]

Benzies took sabbatical leave from Rockstar from 1 September 2014. In January 2016 it was announced that he had left the company.[6] On 12 April 2016, Leslie Benzies started legal action against Rockstar Games and its parent Take Two Interactive claiming $150 million in unpaid royalties.[7][8]

Video game credits[edit]



  1. ^ http://www.giantbomb.com/leslie-benzies/3040-51121/ Retrieved 10 June 2013
  2. ^ Bowditch, Gillian (27 April 2008). "Grand Theft Auto producer is Godfather of gaming". Sunday Times. Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "Games: Special Award in 2005". BAFTA. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "Rockstar North chief buys St Stephen’s Church". Edinburgh News. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Phyllis Stephen (27 June 2014). "St Stephen’s Church – future now assured". The Edinburgh Reporter. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Klepek, Patrick (12 January 2016). "Rockstar North Boss Leslie Benzies Is Out After Nearly Two Decades". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  7. ^ Dave, Morgan (12 April 2016). "GTA Creator Sues Rockstar for $150 Million". WholesGame. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  8. ^ Campbell, Colin (14 April 2016). "The great Grand Theft Auto lawsuit explained". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 15 April 2016.