Apr 13, 2016

Grand Theft Auto Producer Claims Grand Theft of Royalties

The former president of Rockstar Games, the multi-national video games developer, has brought a claim against his former employer.

Leslie Benzies, former president of Rockstar North and producer of a number of the Grand Theft Auto games, has brought a claim against the companies forming the Rockstar Games group which comprises of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., Rockstar Games Inc., Rockstar North  Ltd, Sam Houser and Dan Houser.

Benzies claims to have been forced out of the company and that, as a result, he has missed out on over $150 million in royalty payments that he would and should have been entitled to pursuant to an earlier agreement with brothers Sam and Dan Houser, two of the co-founders of Rockstar.

Benzies claims the brothers conspired against him in a bid to prevent him from benefitting from the royalties referred to above. Rockstar, on the other hand, has rigorously defended its position, denying that royalties are owed stating, "We are very confident this matter will be resolved in our favour".

So confident is Rockstar that it has brought a counter-action in which they claim Benzies' repeated demands for royalty payments are without foundation and further that his demands for parity in respect of the brothers and their royalties are expressly contrary to the royalty agreement that did exist.

The parties have reportedly already tried unsuccessfully to mediate the matter.  Only time will tell whether the dispute can be resolved without the need for a trial and we will keep you updated.

in: Case Law, Digital/Tech, News

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