Cliff Bleszinski out at Epic Games

Design director at Gears of War studio leaves company after 20 years to "chart the next stage of his career"; says "it's time for a much needed break."

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.

Epic Games will move forward without Bleszinski.

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.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

0 comments
SkinMassacre
SkinMassacre

I would have liked the game to go back to its roots (the original Gears). From what i'm seeing hopefully there isn't a sawed off.

theKSMM
theKSMM

I can't wait to buy his album when he's done with it.

electronic_eye
electronic_eye

What bothered(s) me most about him is how blaringly insistant he postured that amazing, cutting-edge graphics are the most important feature in today's, or tomorrow's, gaming software and hardware. Made me sick. I will always take games with interesting, well thought-out stories and sub-par graphics over ones with a slick coat-of-paint and nothing but a premise that's generic and overdone. Since he's ready to turn over a new leaf, maybe for once he'll try attaching himself to a project that actually has some brains.

Ferg1213
Ferg1213

Unreal Tournament was sick. Gears of War was ('was' being the big word here) also f**king sick. He got the job done and I wish him luck!

firstclassgamer
firstclassgamer

Time to start making games for WIIU or go to Nintendo ^_^

BARRICADE_28
BARRICADE_28

Who knows exactly why Cliffy left, but sometimes a company starts to get so much bigger than the creative forces like Cliffy behind it can control.  When a game company gets quite big, profit and shareholders becomes more important than creativity (see Bungie's Microsoft alliance), and with Epic now churning out Gears of War titles like a money grab, maybe Cliffy wanted to join another studio or more likely create a new one of his own that gives him more freedom creatively to do awesome games rather than profitable sequels the CEO wants.  Such was also the case with the Activision mutiny with the Call of Duty team.

Motroucet
Motroucet

I feel like this is actually just the beginning of his career; strange to say about an industry veteran but people like him always have something up their sleeves no doubt. :) Now we just have to play the waiting game.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Wow this is big news.  Cliffy B has been a big part of Epic.

 

Love him or hate him, he WILL have an impact.  Wonder what he'll do next?

adkcrazox
adkcrazox

Everytime gamespot post something people's always complaining or hate someone ya life must suck or ya need to get lay like asap..people act like animal in this world and is so sad..

solidusdeus1
solidusdeus1

Spiffy B.  You mean no more grunting, cursing, cover, shoot, rinse, and repeat? dang....

 

tgwolf
tgwolf

I'm not going to argue that he needs a break or a change of scope, his games reflect that.

tizmond
tizmond

Surprising news. Have to say thanks to Cliffy B for Gears of War 1. I made a lot of online & real-life friends through playing the original MP.  As for what he'll be doing next... I dare say it will be banging his ridiculously hot girlfriend.

Dav_id83
Dav_id83

Finally the EGO trip had pissed off

onixevil
onixevil

I knew you for year ,I don't feel missing you .

Matt6411
Matt6411

So long to a sexist and anti PC jerk. You will not be missed by me or many others.

DarthLod
DarthLod

Not sad about this at all. Cliff is part of the problem in gaming today. Gears has become a egotistical elitist brand for people who bash and harass other gamers who choose different guns or play styles than they do. Trying to play Gears in MP is nothing but an embarrassment to being human. I am done with the franchise.

Majd_Abdulqadir
Majd_Abdulqadir

Good riddance. One of the most arrogant people in game development.

Kr3isen
Kr3isen

Dont worry, hes soulstoned.

auntbessie
auntbessie

Cliffy B out to pasture, didn't think that would happen, I'm sure he'll go on to greater things though when he's ready

fightingfish18
fightingfish18

Maybe we can expect less iOS praise now from Epic.  haha.  But seriously, I want UT2k12 or UT4.  Call it what you want.

Rich_ThaMan_360
Rich_ThaMan_360

didn't see this coming but i'm not surprised, its a shame though 

Hellbishop
Hellbishop

Journey well Cliff Bleszinksi. Endless thanks for UNREAL and UNREAL TOURNAMENT which brought infinite days of gaming artistic joy :D

wavelength121
wavelength121

he left because he saw how gamers were becoming big babies after mass effect 3 ending

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

I really like the Gears of War gameplay. And the concept behind the plot is interesting. Cliff is an arrogant asshole. I've never enjoyed watching/listening to him present a product. I'm not sure how important his role was at Epic, but they shouldn't suffer much without him. My favorite product to come out of Epic is their Unreal Engine. UE has been an important tool for developers this generation and the majority of high quality, highly rated games have been built using the IDE. Goodbye "Cliffy B" you will not be missed. 

jrgoalie33
jrgoalie33

I think a big reason that he made this choice now was because of his disgust with the new consoles in development.  I remember reading the article on here how he was urging Microsoft and Sony to create more powerful consoles.  I guess his plea went unheard by the developers.

Cheekz77
Cheekz77

he'll be back... after a best selling trilogy and an up coming sequel, might as well take a break b4 next gen comes out. no point in making 5 gears game son xbox 360 when next gen is around the corner

 

TAIMAT0
TAIMAT0

my hope for unreal tournament 4 has gone .. well he couldn't make a better sequel to my beloved UT2004

Swanogt19
Swanogt19

20 years and only one major hit. 

vannacut
vannacut

 @SkinMassacre how they murdered a mechanically top notch game , gears 1 , by modifying weapon and some gameplay mechanics ... 

vannacut
vannacut

 @electronic_eye blah blah blah, who says just put out an eyecandy? graphics are as important as gameplay elements, and gameplay elements are as important as the graphics... read the last sentence over and over till it ticks in your head, better graphics didnt kill any gameplay with any game, what developer sacrificed any gameplay for the sake of graphics? gears 1 delivered both single and multiplayer on every level together with best looking graphics of the time. if they could do it, what excuse did the other devs have not to ? rockstar did it, mass effecto did it, assassin creeps did it, bioshock did it, we all got spoiled by time

ewjiml
ewjiml

Why does it bother you?  Cuz this guy is making millions off of games and graphics engines?  And I am sure Cliff is reading your comment right now and saying, "Man!  This guy is totally right!  Screw graphics!"  In case you forget or just don't know, he is one of the guys who was with development of the first, second, third, and fourth Unreal engine, one of the most used graphics engines in the industry.   So while graphics aren't everything, I personally think graphics done well will make a good game even better.  P.S.  He doesn't care what you think. 

jasonlc3221
jasonlc3221

@adkcrazox well said. These haters must live a boring, disgusting, depressing, and pathetic life, because about 98% of game spot users never have anything positive to say. It must really suck to be those losers. Negative attitudes always produce negative results. So to all the haters: Please keep on hatin', you're making me look good

da2g
da2g

 @tgwolf well that is true that gears series  became worn off but  Bleszinski is not the EPIC studio itself. Maybe he left when he was asked to continue the series while he and Chmielarz wanted to do something new - so i think they went off to a fresh start with new IP

tracerhank
tracerhank

 @DarthLod Well, I think it's unfair to blame CliffB for gamers' behavior. We gamers have to be bigger people ourselves. But I do agree with GoW being part of the "problem" in gaming today, but it's not what people think... To CliffB's credit, he made a great game series that took shooter to another level. But the downside to that is the spawning of clones that greatly reduced variety in genres. Nevertheless, I think I'm still thankful to CliffB's contribution to the world of gaming.

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

 @DarthLod Every game and every platform is like this. PS3 owners hate on Xbox owners. Xbox owners hate on PS3 owners, Wii owners hate on both and both hate on Wii, and PC hates on everyone. COD people hate on everyone non COD and everyone who isn't COD hates on COD, back in the day Mario fans hated on Sonic and Sonic fans hated on Mario, SF fans hated on MK and MK fans hated on SF. This has nothing to do with Cliff, its the gamers not the game makers who do this.

maderrin
maderrin

 @Hvac0120 Got similar feelings here, never enjoyed Cliff's talks on various occasions, he just seemd to be enjoying himself a bit too much. I apprecaite the GoW series though, one of my favourites.

jasonlc3221
jasonlc3221

 @adkcrazox No problem. I get nostalgic feelings to go back and play it again too. Hopefully I'll act upon those feelings sooner rather than later.

 

I still think Nintendo should totally do a remake of Earthbound for the Wii (er, Wii-U now). I would totally go buy a Wii-U just for that.

SeAzhrei
SeAzhrei

@jasonlc3221 Speaking of, your user image put me in the mood for Earthbound. So thanks for that!