In between suing his erstwhile employers, ex-Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies has started up his own studio at home in Edinburgh, Scotland, incorporating five existing video game and VR firms into one new company, and filed a trademark for the title “Time for a New World” – whatever that is.
Benzies was previously a developer on the GTA series, plus LA Noire and Red Dead Redemption, before a somewhat contentious “retirement” from Rockstar North in 2016 amid claims that he was refused entry to the building after returning from a period of leave. A $150 million lawsuit alleging “strip clubs, personal photography of employees in sexually compromising positions, and other conduct grossly in violation of standard workplace norms” and some rather more mundane unpaid royalties – plus an inevitable counter-suit by parent company Take Two Interactive – is ongoing.
The new, as yet unnamed venture includes Royal Circus Games Limited, Royal Circus Technologies, Starship Group, Everywhere Game Limited, and VR-Chitect Limited – the latter, according to filings with the local Intellectual Property Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, produces hardware and software to “enable virtual reality viewing”. So that’s intriguing.