THE ELGIN MAN behind the world-famous Grand Theft Auto games series has split from the company he helped make famous after 17 years.
Leslie Benzies was born in Aberdeen but moved to Dufftown and later Elgin when he was a child. It was the appropriation of his dads’ Dragon 32 computer when he was just 11-years-old that changed his life forever.
He joined DMA Design as a video game programmer in 1999 having started his working life with IT firm Moray Instruments and Computers on the Tyock Industrial Estate repairing computers for local businesses. DMA design was later rebranded as Rockstar North and went on to achieve world-wide fame for a series of games, but none more than their GTA series.
Revealing that Leslie had left the firm, a spokesman for Rockstar said: “We are very grateful for Leslie’s contributions to Rockstar over the last 15 years as we worked together to make some amazing games.
“Leslie helped us build an incredible team that will continue to create great experiences for our fans. He 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 May 2014 Leslie was crowned CEO of the Year at the Scottish Business Awards. He has always had a close association with Elgin City FC, his mother having married Jack Noble who had a stake in the club with Leslie later making an investment in his own right.