Former Rockstar North boss Leslie Benzies is suing his former company for $150 million over unpaid royalties.
Benzies left Rockstar North back in January and claims that the Houser brothers forced him out whilst also withholding royalties “based upon arbitrary actions by the company’s royalty Allocation Committee, a committee that may or may not have actually ever met.” Benzies also accuses Rockstar North of a number of deceptions, including false briefings to the press concerning his departure.
Rockstar and its parent company Take-Two has responded by filing its own counter-suit against Benzies, who they claim resigned from his position without good reason and is not entitled to any post-termination royalties. This counter-suit seeks compensation from Benzies as well as costs and fees incurred as a result of Benzies’ actions.
Rockstar has released the following statement:
“Leslie Benzies was a valued employee of our company for many years. 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.
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.”
Rockstar does not intend to comment further on this matter.