Rockstar has confirmed that Leslie Benzies, studio head of Rockstar North, has departed the company and has in fact not been in the office since September 2014.
Benzies joined Rockstar North back in 1999 when it was still DMA Design. He played a huge role in the development of the Grand Theft Auto series and went on sabbatical following the release of Grand Theft Auto V.
"We can confirm that Leslie Benzies went on sabbatical on September 1, 2014 and has decided not to return to work for the company. We are very grateful for Leslie's contributions to Rockstar over the last 15 years as we worked together to make some amazing games," Rockstar told Kotaku.
"Leslie helped us build an incredible team that will continue to create great experiences for our fans. Leslie will always be a friend to the company and of course we are going to miss him but we wish him the absolute best for the future."
In 2014 Benzies, Sam Houser, Dan Houser and Aaron Garbut of Rockstar Games received the BAFTA Fellowship and last year Benzies, Dan Houser and Sam Houser were honoured with a place in the Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall Of Fame.
In June 2014 Benzies also, according to Edinburgh News, made “an entirely philanthrophic purchase” of a Scottish church for over £500,000.
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