Former GTA 5 Boss’ Studio Hires Ex-2K, PlayStation Veterans For New Game, Everywhere

Former Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies’ new studio, Build A Rocket Boy, has made some major hires as development continues on its debut title, the very ambitious-sounding Everywhere.

Build A Rocket Boy has hired former SCE Liverpool Studio director Mick Hocking to become its chief development officer, while Murray Pannell (former 2K Europe vice president) will become senior vice president of global marketing. Randall Price, a 15-year veteran of Guild Wars studio ArenaNet, will be Build A Rocket Boy’s chief publishing officer.

Benzies said Hocking, Pannell, and Price bring a “huge amount of experience, knowledge, and passion” to the team. Benzies further teased that the studio will have more news to share in 2022.

Build A Rocket Boy was founded in 2016 and now has offices in Edinburgh, Budapest, and Los Angeles. According to VGC, the team has more than 400 employees across all of its offices.

The studio’s first game is an ambitious-sounding project titled Everywhere. As its name suggests, the open-world game aims to allow players to go anywhere and do basically anything.

“Players are getting smarter and require more from their games, and we want players to have the real freedom to live in our worlds in the ways they want to,” Benzies said. “We’re aiming to offer a huge variety of game modes and styles that not only tell our stories but also enable players to live in the identities and adventures they most want to explore.”

Benzies left Rockstar North in 2016, following a 17-month sabbatical. In April 2016, he sued Rockstar Games for $150 million in royalties and alleged that he was forced out. Rockstar parent company Take-Two said Benzies’ “significant performance and conduct issues” ultimately created a situation that led to his eventual resignation. Take-Two also said that his claims are “entirely without merit and in many instances downright bizarre.” The case remains ongoing.

As for the GTA series, Rockstar is now developing Grand Theft Auto 6, and the studio appears to be on a hiring spree right now.

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