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Report: Grand Theft Auto dev out at Rockstar North

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Longtime series producer no longer at the company

Leslie Benzies, one of the Grand Theft Auto series' lead producers, is no longer employed at Rockstar North, Kotaku reports.

The company confirmed to Kotaku that Benzies, who started at the studio in 1999 when it was still known as DMA Design, had left following a 17-month sabbatical.

Benzies served as producer on every Grand Theft Auto title starting from Grand Theft Auto 3, which launched in 2001. He also worked on other Rockstar North releases like L.A. Noire and the controversial Manhunt 2.

Along with series co-leads Sam and Dan Houser, Benzies was recognized for his work on the hugely popular franchise by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. The organization added the three into its Hall of Fame in 2014.

Filling Benzies' seat at the Rockstar North table are Aaron Garbut and Rob Nelson, according to Kotaku. Both worked as art and animation directors on past Grand Theft Auto games, most recently Grand Theft Auto 5.