Ex Rockstar president raises £32 million for rival studio28th September 2020
A former president at Rockstar North has raised £32 million for his studio Build a Rocket Boy as it looks to develop its first video game.
Leslie Benzies served at Rockstar North for some years and he was a key influence behind hit titles in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, including GTA 5.
However, he ultimately wound up leaving the developer in 2016 after major incidents with publisher Take-Two Interactive.
Since then, he has launched a new developer studio under the name of Build a Rocket Boy with offices in Edinburgh, Budapest and Los Angeles.
It now employs approximately 130 people comprised of seasoned GTA developers and other industry veterans.
Build a Rocket Boy has also received funding from several entities, including Chinese powerhouse NetEase which has previously invested in new IP projects such as Bungie’s Destiny.
Reportedly, Benzies’ studio is continuing work on its first title known as ‘Everywhere’ after acquiring £32 million through its latest investment round, as per The Telegraph.
Back in 2017, he explained to VentureBeat that it will be an open-world game in the science-fiction genre that incorporates classic mechanics alongside elements found ‘everywhere’.
“Everywhere has a lot of traditional game mechanics but we’re going for something more that draws inspiration from, well, everywhere,” he said.
“Players are getting smarter and require more from their games, and we want players to have the real freedom to live in our worlds in the ways they want to.
“We’re aiming to offer a huge variety of game modes and styles that not only tell our stories but also enable players to live in the identities and adventures they most want to explore.”
At the time of writing, Everywhere does not currently have a release date; however, with the latest investments, it does have the resources for development.
Interested in reading more stories about video game studios? Discover more about Microsoft’s shock acquisition of ZeniMax studios that included The Elder Scrolls developer Bethesda.