What will Cliff Bleszinski do next?

Former Epic Games designer discusses challenges of opening new studio, allure of AAA game development.

Ever since Cliff Bleszinski left Epic Games in October, fans may have wondered what the outspoken industry veteran would do next. He's not saying just yet, though the designer opened up on his career options in a new VentureBeat interview.

"One of the main things I've been considering is opening my own studio," Bleszinski said. "But the complication to that is, heavy is the head that wears the crown. If you have 150 people that you're responsible for, with their families and their children and all that, that's a lot of weight. The company depends on you."

This is not the first time Bleszinski has spoken of opening his own studio. Last month, he revealed he would like to set up a shop to work on a new intellectual property codenamed Silverstreak. Though this could happen, Bleszinski said working for another studio or being a consultant are also options he is considering.

"At the end of the day, I just want to do something that motivates me, that gets me out of bed. I've been able to be financially successful enough that the only work I have to do is the work that I want to do. It's a fortunate position," he said.

"At the end of the day, I just want to do something that motivates me, that gets me out of bed."

Bleszinski said he is interested in getting back into AAA game development, but noted he hopes to avoid the pitfalls that beset Curt Schilling and John Romero.

"The thing is, I would want to get back to the triple-A space eventually, but the last thing I would want to do--and no offense meant to Curt Schilling [38 Studios] and John Romero [Ion Storm]--is to do what those guys did," he said. "'Let's throw 300 bodies at it! Sure, we'll just make it work!'" That's the equivalent of taking a garage band and having them play Wembley Stadium on day one. You have to learn how to work with people."

Asked if he would consider becoming an indie developer and build something on a smaller scale, Bleszinski said the sink-or-swim nature of the indie scene is "beautiful," but he would prefer a more mass-scale endeavor.

"Doing Gears of War, I loved the large-scale aspect of it," he said. "We could leverage Microsoft to get the American Chopper TV special and have big launch events and see our ads on TV during Monday Night Football. That level of relevance comes with being triple-A."

Since leaving Epic Games, Bleszinski has visited the offices of Activision, Zynga, Double Fine, and Electronic Arts. He has also met with God of War and Twisted Metal designer David Jaffe and been courted by Ubisoft.

Bleszinski will give the keynote address at PAX East 2013 in April.

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

111 comments
kokonut1971
kokonut1971

That douchebag is the reason why we never got  the other gears of wars game on PC. I am glad he left Epic. Maybe they will reconsider and do some special Gears of war pack for PC. I was so pi$$ed when he came in and said that the rest of gear games was to be console only. Let him rot wherever he goes!

Meta-Gnostic
Meta-Gnostic

It's bothersome that he wants to do AAA for exposure and not for the game itself.

faizanhd
faizanhd

I think he should beg valve to give him a job. 

tjallen
tjallen

Zynga? Cliff visiting Zynga? Gears of War-ville?

qajoker
qajoker

Gaming is a way of life!

faizanhd
faizanhd

Time to do unreal the right way. 

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

Try a single player action adventure... time to leave the multiplayer shooters behind...

MatrixGamer78
MatrixGamer78

i have an advice for u Cliff hmmm Hey join GS it willbe more fun for u and us:P

bigmac5and5
bigmac5and5

Still waiting for Jazz Jackrabbit revival...


jhcho2
jhcho2

I think he's gonna be another John Romero. It's been proven countless times, that success of games are a result of a good studio, and good creative talent. People like Max Schaefer, David Brevik and Bill Roper are the creative talent behind the Diablo series. That, combined with a good company (Blizzard), lead to the success of Diablo. What are those three now without Blizzard? The same can be said about John Romero. What is he without id software? What is Cliffy B without Epic? Time will tell.

juiceman4519
juiceman4519

Lol, it seems a lot of you guys were thinking the same thing I was when I read the headline. IDC!

brok
brok

Gears of War was the creative death of Epic Games. Maybe Cliff Blezinski should make an Unreal Tournament clone by way of apology?

swamptick
swamptick

Who cares? He is a bigot and a moron.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Hopefully he will open his own studio and make games for PS4 and Xbox 720. It would even be interesting to see what he could do with the Wii U. But I don't think Cliff is a Nintendo fan. So I hope that he could start work on Xbox 720 launch titles.

sacatash
sacatash

Got to give props to him. Gears of War made me and my friends buy the Xbox 360 even though there were rampant RROD in 2006.  The GOW franchise was and is a system seller.

I bet he has 'writer's block' and still searching for inspiration how to get back making great games.  Well good luck to him.

Artemiccion
Artemiccion

I think i know what he should do...
STEROID MARINES WHO ALWAYS YELL YEAAAAHHHH!!!!

Sorry counldn't help myself, although I really like gears :) 

WoZe
WoZe

This dude-bro made one good franchise. Congratulations. It's interesting we never hear from the great game designers such as Kojima, Todd Howard, Miyamoto, people at Valve, Ubisoft, Rockstar, etc yet this guy gets the attention for his simple one liners. Hopefully he leaves the industry and picks up pottery.

Saketume
Saketume

I only read this article to find out who he is and why I should care.

I leave disappointed.


..or wait is this a poll? Do we get to decide what he should do? Because then I have some ideas.

dogpigfish
dogpigfish

He should take the job with Ubi, they need him.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

Excuse me, I'm trying to find a single fuck to give.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Late-night ads for exercise equipment?

troyhalo34
troyhalo34

Should help Capcom save resident evil

Hig1134
Hig1134

Cliff is just too arrogant for me to respect him. Gears is a great game, but I can't stand this guy.

Vampire64
Vampire64

What will Cliff Bleszinski do next?

Who cares?

SEEDman_X
SEEDman_X

What will Cliff Bleszinski do next?  I DON'T CARE!  

I just hope he disappear from the gaming world!  To me, his constant push for 'face melting' graphics comes at the expense of other important gaming elements.  It is the biggest reason why games are so much more expensive to make, and it is also why the industry is so risk-adverse

SgtSilock
SgtSilock

Hes only gone because Epic Games isn't the powerhouse it was before? He would of never of left otherwise. 

damodar_thade
damodar_thade

Cliff - Michael Bay. David Cage - Francis Ford Coppola.

HeroicVillian
HeroicVillian

i hope this game isn't a letdown.. Kojima is a mastermind, and he's letting his kids do this game.... Please God let it be good.

nhlcrazy
nhlcrazy

I love it. People hate on gears but the game sold very well. Cant be that bad if it sold so well. Numbers don't lie. I think People have nothing better to do that take what they think of a game and act like it is fact. Grow up kids. I think most of PS3's first party games suck but that is just what I think. It don't make it a fact..

sensei_hEnRY
sensei_hEnRY

why not try Respawn? With great talents from Infinity Ward, i'm sure they can make another great AAA title.

steelmouth
steelmouth

am not interested in anything less than a AAA game, and it being a xbox3 exclusive whould a nice bonus so go talk to the guys at MS and make it happen

DrKill09
DrKill09

Make another horribly overrated game, no doubt 

Dragoon_of_Fire
Dragoon_of_Fire

Be the Revolution Cliff, bring games back to what they used to be.

sonicare
sonicare

I think he's in the fortunate situation where he can do whatever he wants to do.  He's basically got financial independence. 

hojo80
hojo80

@kokonut1971 I don't think Cliffy was responsible for that. One of two things happened: Microsoft spent more money for the People Can Fly PC version (ANOTHER DEVELOPER MADE THE PC VERSION NOT CLIFFYB) of the first Gears of War than it sold and just said no. Or Microsoft wanted an exclusive Xbox 360 title to push the sale of their 3 year old console. Your ire for CliffyB (Lead developer on the Xbox 360 games not PC) is misplaced.

Dessicator
Dessicator

@SEEDman_X He's a little boy who makes games for little boys. I know that sounds derisive, but there's really nothing wrong with it in principal. Dumb action can be fun. Gears wasn't, but that's besides the point. It only becomes a problem when the supposed adults (industry and critics) frame him as some luminary of great game design, and again, Gears of War wasn't.

Dessicator
Dessicator

@damodar_thadeI haven't played Heavy Rain, so I can't comment on the story. Maybe he really is a storyteller and director on the level of Coppola. But I've seen the gameplay videos and I know his "games" are just very long and pretentious streams of quicktime events and dialog options. Unfortunately, no matter how good the story may be, if it's just a regular movie that you have to unpause over and over that makes it a really bad game. So he may be a David Lynch or Martin Scorsese of a story teller (again, haven't played his games, but as I hear it he really isn't), but as a game designer he's more on the level of an Adam Sandler :-\

Biggs613
Biggs613

I don't really think people are hating on his work, just him. I mean, I like Gears and Unreal (probably Gears more), but I don't like him. It is possible to dislike a person, but respect the work they do at the same time.

Chico86_basic
Chico86_basic

@Biggs613 Humm. How well do you think you know Cliff then? Unless you happen to know him personally I find that kind of strange based on some game related shows he has appeared on. You might say you don't like his personality (which I don't really see why) but that's beside the point. Who are we to judge Cliff as a person? Honestly he could be a jerk and I still wouldn't care less because the Gears Of War franchise is great!