Leslie Benzies, former President of Rockstar Games, is poised to publish a brand new game entitled Everywhere.
Despite being locked in a legal battle with his former employer regarding overdue royalty payments, Benzies has wasted no time in turning to the media to promote his upcoming title.
What Benzies has made clear is that the game will be nothing like Grand Theft Auto in that it will “create a platform where players can be entertained, and also entertain others while blurring the lines between reality, and a simulated world”.
What this actually means isn’t as clear. What little information we have regarding the project is scarce: we know it’s being developed by Royal Circus Games, we know it’s being developed on Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine which in turn means that we know the game will incorporate Twitch streaming and server hosting.
We also know that the game’s official website lists a handful of job roles, with one role, in particular, being omitted from that list. Nowhere is it stated that the studio is in need of an Environment artist, a position you’d think any indie game dev would want to have filled immediately. With that in mind is it fair to assume that Benzies is looking to incorporate elements of AR into Everywhere’s design? Given his back catalogue and commitment to producing some of the most lovingly crafted open world titles in the industry, we’d be willing to bet money on it.
Although he is not known by many, Benzies’ work certainly is. Heralded as the Godfather of Grand Theft Auto, Benzies has pioneered the series’ development into the 3D space (with Grand Theft Auto III) and its subsequent domination of each console generation, leading to the monolith GTA Online that accompanied Grand Theft Auto V back in September 2013.
Unfortunately, Benzies legal spat is just another tragic tale of dubious developer deceit that has plagued our industry over the past couple of years. Hopefully, this tale will have a happy ending and Benzies name, alongside his game, will in time be known to everyone, Everywhere.