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Former Grand Theft Auto producer Leslie Benzies launches multiple game studios

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Benzies spent more than a decade leading one of the most successful video game franchises of all time and his future games should be ambitious in scope.

Leslie Benzies is setting his sights back on the video game industry with a new venture, Royal Circus Games Limited, which will focus on developing console, PC, and mobile games, according to a report from The Scotsman. Benzies has already applied to the Intellectual Property Office with Royal Circus Games, so it appears the new gaming studio is a top priority.

Royal Circus Games Limited recently trademarked¬†“Time for a New World,” which could possibly be the studio’s first game.

Benzies will be quite busy, though. In recent weeks, the former president of Rockstar North has incorporated five businesses, all of which seem to fall under the umbrella of Royal Circus, the presumed parent company. Benzies will also focus on emerging technologies at VR-Chitect Limited. As reported in The Scotsman, VR-Chitect will create its own line of VR headsets, glasses and software to compete with PSVR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift.

The other two companies will be called Starship Group and Everywhere Game Limited, but their respective pursuits are unclear at this time.

Benzies led development on the Grand Theft Auto franchise from Grand Theft Auto III to Grand Theft Auto V, amounting to eight producing roles in one of the most beloved and controversial franchises in video games.

A year after the release of GTA V, Benzies took a sabbatical from RockStar in September 2014. In January 2016, news spread that Benzies had left the studio. In April, Benzies filed a $150 million lawsuit against Rockstar Games and its publisher Take-Two Interactive to recoup alleged unpaid royalties.

The lawsuit claims that Rockstar, Rockstar North, and Take-Two pushed him out of the company and deceptively terminated his royalty payments. Benzies mentioned Grand Theft Auto masterminds Sam Houser and Dan Houser personally in the lawsuit. Both Rockstar, Take-Two, and the Houser brothers have denied his accusations.

After more than a decade at the helm of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, it seems as if Benzies is gearing up to possibly compete with the series he once led.