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The Untold Truth Of This GTA Competitor

Video game developers lose their jobs all the time, but that doesn't always have to be the end. Sometimes those same developers then go on start their own companies that rival their former employer. In the case of ex-Rockstar developer Leslie Benzies, there is even more motivation to show up his former bosses. His 2017 departure from the company was particularly messy. Since then, he's founded Build A Rocket Boy Games with the goal of creating a competitor for the hugely popular Grand Theft Auto series from Rockstar Games. 


Now, it seems his goal is closer to becoming a reality. Build A Rocket Boy's debut title, which is codenamed Everywhere, just completed a major step in development. While details about Everywhere are scarce, the announcement should still put pressure on Rockstar while they work on GTA 6

Here's everything to know about the futuristic sandbox-style game that's hoping to knock GTA off its perch.

It's now being developed on the Unreal Engine

Everywhere was first announced back in 2017, when Benzies and two other former Rockstar employees, Matthew Smith and Colin Entwistle, confirmed rumors that they were opening a new company in Edinburgh, Scotland. At first, it was being built under Amazon's proprietary engine, Lumberyard. But the company recently confirmed it is switching to Epic Games' Unreal Engine.


Benzies explained they made the move because of Unreal's technological advancements over the past two years. But Lumberyard hasn't been a hit like Amazon hoped it would be when it debuted in 2016. In 2019, laid-off Amazon staffers told the Wall Street Journal that the company was allowing them to use other engines to build their games.

Since Unreal is now compatible with PS5 and the Xbox Series X, the move appears to set up Everywhere for success well into the next console generation. So far, Rockstar's only announced project on next-gen consoles is a port of GTA 5 and GTA Online, and GTA 6 still has no announced release window. That means Everywhere could debut on next-gen consoles before the next GTA does.


There's still bad blood between Benzies and Rockstar

Benzies and Rockstar had an ugly divorce back in 2016. Benzies sued Rockstar for $150 million in unpaid royalties, and alleged that co-founder Sam Houser had created an unseemly company culture. Rockstar denied it and locked Benzies out of his company email and Blackberry.


The tension didn't let up after Benzies' exit. Build A Rocket Boy started with 30 employees and has since ballooned to over 400, but Rockstar accused Benzies of poaching his former coworkers. Rockstar also argued that the initials for the original name for Benzies' company, Royal Circus Games, or "RCG," were deliberately similar to its own, "RSG." Benzies agreed to change the name.

While Everywhere won't have nearly the same budget as a GTA game, the company did recently complete a second successful round of funding. These new resources should make the game a formidable competitor for the next GTA.

It's an open-world game set in the future

Everywhere keeps being pitted against the GTA franchise, but that's seemingly only because of Benzies's association with the project. It's currently unknown how similar the two games might be. The Everywhere website is deliberately vague about the details, but does say the game is open-world and set in the "near future," during a time when a new technology changes humanity forever. Some want to use it to better humanity, while others want to use it to enrich themselves.


In terms of gameplay, player choice and customization will be top priorities. Benzies said he wants Everywhere to "less restrictive" than other games, with "multiple narratives" that allow the player to choose the story they want. Everywhere's producers have cited Elite and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as their major influences.

It's too early to say how well Everywhere might stack up against the next GTA sequel. But Benzies' and his team's experience on open-world experiences like GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption make it likely that Everywhere will have a richly detailed, hyper-realistic setting with plenty to do.