Rockstar have issued a response to the lawsuit from Leslie Benzies, who formerly used to head up Rockstar North, the studio that develops the Grand Theft Auto games. Benzies worked at Rockstar North for 15 years, and allegedly had an acrimonious split with the publisher, stating that he was ‘forced out’ of the company. Benzies is now suing Rockstar for $150 million, claiming unpaid royalties as the primary reason motivating the suit.
Rockstar, who have initiated a countersuit, have issued a statement, highlighting that Benzies’ claims are without merit, and that Rockstar have, on multiple occasions, attempted to resolve the matter with him before, according to his employment contract terms.
“Leslie Benzies was a valued employee of our company for many years,” reads the statement. “Sadly, the events that culminated in his resignation ultimately stem from his significant performance and conduct issues.
“Despite our repeated efforts to address and resolve these issues amicably both before and after his departure, Leslie has chosen to take this route in an attempt to set aside contract terms to which he previously agreed on multiple occasions.”
“His claims are entirely without merit and in many instances downright bizarre, and we are very confident this matter will be resolved in our favor,” the developer said.
“A core ethos since Rockstar’s inception has been the concept of ‘the team’. It is deeply disappointing and simply wrong for Leslie to attempt to take personal credit for what has always been the tremendous efforts of the entire Rockstar team, who remain hard at work delivering the most immersive and engaging entertainment experiences we can for our fans.”
Ultimately, it’s hard to tell who may be in the right- while the natural inclination may be to side with Rockstar, the company that has brought us so many amazing games in the past, it is also undeniable that they do have a shady history of not always treating their employees the best. They may be in the right here- but until we have further details, we would rather withhold judgment.