The former president of Rockstar North and lead producer for the Grand Theft Auto series, Leslie Benzies, is taking legal action against the parent company, Take-Two Interactive, for the sum of $150 million in alleged unpaid royalties from GTA5.
Benzies claims that he was forced out of the company after being compelled into a sabbatical that he went on starting in September of 2014. His lawyer, Christopher Bakes, gave a statement to Polygon, saying that “while on sabbatical, Mr. Benzies discovered numerous deceptions on the part of Take-Two, Rockstar, Rockstar North Ltd, Sam Houser and Dan Houser, who sought to force him out of the company and terminate his portion of royalty payments based upon arbitrary actions by the company’s royalty Allocation Committee, a committee that may or may not have actually ever met.”
That said, those royalties that he alleges haven’t been paid, amount to a staggering $150 million. Those profits were part of a long-term agreement that Rockstar North entered into with Take-Two Interactive for an incentive program for upper-level executives back in 2008. All well and good, except now Take-Two and Rockstar are filing a counter-suit that cites that Benzies breached his contract, left without good reason and thus is not entitled to those royalties at all.
The full counter-suit document can be found here.