Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski has left the Gears of War studio after 20 years, it was announced today on the company's website.
It is not clear exactly what Bleszinski will be doing in his post-Epic Games life, but he will take some rest before embarking on the "next stage" of his career.
"I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager, and outside of my sabbatical last year, I have been going non-stop," Bleszinski said in a statement. "I literally grew up in this business, as [Epic Games president Mike Capps] likes to say. And now that I’m grown up, it’s time for a much needed break."
Bleszinski said his departure from Epic Games will not affect games in development at Epic-owned studios like Chair Entertainment, People Can Fly, or the newly formed Impossible Studios. Epic Games is currently working with People Can Fly on 2013's Gears of War: Judgment, as well as the mysterious PC game Fortnite.
Bleszinski is not the only high-level Epic Games employee to have left the firm this year. Over the summer, producer Rod Fergusson left to join the BioShock Infinite development team at Irrational Games; and shortly thereafter, People Can Fly creative director and co-owner Adrian Chmielarz jumped ship after Epic Games completed its acquisition of the Polish studio.
Bleszinski's departure from Epic Games appears to be amicable. Epic Games president Mike Capps, founder Tim Sweeney, and and vice-president Mark Rein each applauded Bleszinski for his work at the company, and wished him well in his future endeavors.