Ex-GTA producer’s studio, Build A Rocket Boy reveals layoffs

The studio headed up by Leslie Benzies with high profile titles on the way is to remove “a number of roles globally"

Ex-GTA producer’s studio, Build A Rocket Boy reveals layoffs

Following the trend of industry wide belt-tightening, Build A Rocket Boy, the studio led by former Grand Theft Auto producer Leslie Benzies with offices in Edinburgh, Budapest and most recently an expansion into Montpellier, has announced plans to undertake a round of redundancies.

Previously the secretive company had revealed two projects - the Fortnite-like metaverse/user-generated shooter Everywhere, and photo-realistic action shooter Mindseye - a game planned as an experience within Everywhere. Both projects have been in production since the company’s founding in 2018. Benzies previously worked as a producer for Rockstar playing a key part in the production of Grand Theft Auto II through V.

Both projects are seen as significantly ambitious with the core ethos of the Everywhere, according to Build a Robot Boy, being to "create this open world that can be built on in every direction". To this end, the title will host numerous full games, including MindsEye, an upcoming AAA action-adventure title "set in a world of futuristic corporations, conspiracy theories, and sinister new technologies".

However, both Everywhere and Mindseye are the subjects of extended development time with no release dates set. Both have been revealed in short trailers and last month - alongside their proprietary toolset Arcadia - were successful in attracting investment to the tune of $110m from RedBird Capital Partners, NetEase Games, Galaxy Interactive, Endeavor, Alignment Growth, Woodline Partners LP, and GTAM Partners.

RedBird Capital partner Julia Wittlin joined the board of directors at Build A Rocket Boy following the investment.

"A more agile studio"

However, now, despite this investment and with no release dates in site the company said in a statement to PCGamesN today, ““While we have made great progress developing our products, we are now in a position where we need to make changes to the way we work across our business in order to become a more agile studio and to meet the requirements that our projects demand.”

“To achieve that and refocus, we have taken the extremely difficult decision to propose the removal of a number of roles globally. This process is ongoing and we are working with those impacted at this difficult and challenging time.”

Previously Benzies had said of the studio, “"I started Build A Rocket Boy so that I could continue to share the stories I love with players and give them a place to create and share. We believe in a future where game creation is put in the hands of the players, and we will empower them with the tools to help shape this vision with us."

Editor -

Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest entertainment media brands in the world. He's interviewed countless big names, and covered countless new releases in the fields of videogames, music, movies, tech, gadgets, home improvement, self build, interiors and garden design. Yup, he said garden design… He’s the ex-Editor of PSM2, PSM3, GamesMaster and Future Music, ex-Deputy Editor of The Official PlayStation Magazine and ex-Group Editor-in-Chief of Electronic Musician, Guitarist, Guitar World, Rhythm, Computer Music and more. He hates talking about himself.