Cliff Bleszinski Leaves Epic Games To Take “A Much Needed Break”
In a shock turn of events, the self proclaimed Tony Stark of video games has left Epic. Cliff Bleszinski was the company’s design director and worked there for the past two decades, starting off with the likes of side-scrolling platform game Jazz Jackrabbit, and going onto creating one of the biggest hits in the Xbox’s lifespan, Gears of War.
In a post on Epic Games Community, tributes for Cliffy B have been rolling in from many people within the company…remember, he’s not dead. He’s just after leaving. Although, you would be forgiven for thinking the former by reading some of these;
“In 20 wonderful years with Epic, Cliff Bleszinski has grown into a true design luminary, and his contributions to the ‘Unreal’ and ‘Gears’ series have helped shape the game industry into what it is today. Cliff leaves Epic with our gratitude for his many contributions, and our wishes for continued success in the next chapter of his life!” – Tim Sweeney, Epic Games founder, CEO and Technical Director.
“In my 10 years of working with Cliff, his passion for creating video games of the highest quality has been unflinching. We are grateful for all of his hard work, and remain committed to making our fans happy and to always raising the bar in everything we do at Epic.” – Mike Capps, Epic Games President.
“Cliff has been my friend and business associate for the past 20 years and, while it is sad to see him move on from Epic, I know that everyone here has benefitted greatly from his passion for gaming and the depth of his expertise and experience. I’ll miss watching his star shine from such a close vantage point but I’ll still look forward to watching his continued success.” – Mark Rein, Vice President of Epic Games
To be fair though, Bleszinski’s influence on modern day video games is one that is felt every time you play a third person shooter. Yes, Kill Switch may have “originated” the idea, but Gears perfected and popularised it. But, on top of Gears, obviously the man has many credits to his name including the Unreal series. In Bleszinski’s own personal note to those that worked with the man at Epic Games, he stated that “I literally grew up in this business…And now that I’m grown up, it’s time for a much needed break.”.
He had been reportedly working on Fortnite and the upcoming Gears of War: Judgment, which is why this seems to come out of the blue. Bleszinski has become the third major staffer at Epic Games to leave in recent memory, following the likes of Rod Fergusson (who left for Irrational Games) and Adrian Chmielarz (founder of People Can Fly).
Will Cliffy B take a break, or is Iron Man planning on getting back in the game sooner rather than later? Time will tell.