It’s great to hear that any developer is getting into VR, but when the former President of Grand Theft Auto creator Rockstar North gets involved with the tech, we really pay attention.
Leslie Benzies, producer on the influential gaming series, started up several new companies, and at least one of them is jumping into the VR game. As spotted by The Scotsman, Benzies is named as the co-Company Director on a 2016-filed Certificate of Incorporation document for VR-Chitect Limited. The role is shared by Christopher Poziemski, former Assistant Director at financial planning firm Brewin Dolphin.
Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, where GTA games themselves are made, the company appears to be making not VR content but instead its own headset. A listing at the Intellectual Property Office notes the company is working on a “Virtual reality system and method”. The US Patent and Trademark Office also reportedly has a listing for a system that “enables virtual reality viewing” from the company, though we were unable to locate it ourselves.
If true, it suggests the company could be making its own VR hardware. We have no idea what to expect from the scale of these headsets; they could be anything from new Google Cardboard-like kits all the way up to new SteamVR-supported devices, or anywhere in between.
The developer also has several other new companies, including Royal Circus Games Limited, Starship Group and Everywhere Game Limited. One of them appears to be working on a videogame named Time For A New World, which would be a nice label for a VR project, though there’s no indication that it is one.
Benzies oversaw production of practically every GTA game since 2001’s iconic Grand Theft Auto III, including DLC content and spin-off games. He also worked on other Rockstar-published titles like Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire. He’s currently wrapped up in a legal battle with his former studio after leaving at the start of last year. The developer is suing Rockstar and owner Take-Two for $150 million, claiming he hasn’t been paid royalties for his time working at the studio.