Cliff Bleszinski leaves Epic Games

Gaming icon Cliff Bleszinski is leaving Epic Games, the company has just announced. The outspoken developer is best known for his work on Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal, and Gears of War.

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Gaming icon Cliff Bleszinski is leaving Epic Games, the company has just announced. The outspoken developer is best known for his work on Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal, and Gears of War. After spending 20 years at Epic, Bleszinski will no longer serve as the company's design director.

"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," Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said in a prepared statement. "Cliff leaves Epic with our gratitude for his many contributions, and our wishes for continued success in the next chapter of his life!"

"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 benefited greatly from his passion for gaming and the depth of his expertise and experience," Epic VP Mark Rein added. "I'll miss watching his star shine from such a close vantage point but I'll still look forward to watching his continued success."

Given the language surrounding his departure, including mentions of "the next stage of his career," it seems likely that Bleszinski will remain in the gaming industry--unlike the recent departures of BioWare's doctors. However, Bleszinski is definitely taking a break for now. "I've been doing this since I was a teenager, and outside of my sabbatical last year, I have been going non-stop," he told fans on Epic Games' website. "I literally grew up in this business, as Mike likes to say. And now that I'm grown up, it's time for a much needed break."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 3, 2012 2:41 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Cliff Bleszinski leave Epic Games.

    Gaming icon Cliff Bleszinski is leaving Epic Games, the company has just announced. The outspoken developer is best known for his work on Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal, and Gears of War.

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      October 3, 2012 2:46 PM

      Whuuuuuuh?

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      October 3, 2012 2:46 PM

      Noooo Cliffy

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        October 3, 2012 2:51 PM

        20 years at the same studio... I can sympathize with the urge to vacate the hamster-wheel for a bit.

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          October 4, 2012 7:08 PM

          Exactly, probably wants to take some time just going out and blowing some of that cash just to live a little.
          As long as we don't get a "Tried to climb Mt Everest, sole survivor of a group off 11 that mysteriously put on 20 lbs with no supplies within miles of rescue spot" headline I think it'll all work out pretty cool.
          Besides, he might go back once he gets his breather and rekindles his passion, for games.

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      October 3, 2012 2:49 PM

      No matter where he goes, he'll always be CliffyB.

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      October 3, 2012 2:50 PM

      [deleted]

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      October 3, 2012 2:50 PM

      interesting

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      October 3, 2012 2:53 PM

      he'll return bigger, better and more badass

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      October 3, 2012 2:55 PM

      [deleted]

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      October 3, 2012 2:59 PM

      Whoa...

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      October 3, 2012 3:04 PM

      [deleted]

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        October 4, 2012 1:53 AM

        Yeah also hopefully not, cause he's a manchild, and his idea of emotionally mature drama is mawkish wank Steven Spielberg and nerdy butterball Joss Whedon.

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      October 3, 2012 3:06 PM

      Wow 20 years. We are all old :(

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      October 3, 2012 3:07 PM

      Wow! Best of luck to him. Maybe he'll do some independent stuff further down the line

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      October 3, 2012 3:08 PM

      Wow, didn't see that coming.

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      October 3, 2012 3:21 PM

      I wonder when his kickstarter begins.

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      October 3, 2012 3:23 PM

      i have to post this http://kotaku.com/212547/cliffyb-wannabe-male-model

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      October 3, 2012 3:31 PM

      good for him. He has so much name recognition he really should have his own studio or be a part owner of one.

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      October 3, 2012 4:37 PM

      He's going to start a studio with Dane Cook.

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      October 3, 2012 4:43 PM

      Crazy, all the best Dude \m/. I wonder if had anything to do with Fortnite? Bets either a) He had the idea of Fortnite and got pushed out because of it, not the companies direction. b) wanted to do something else than Fortnite but was forced to do it and quit. C) who the shit knows?

      Actually I don't think he was even working on Fortnite, anyone know if he was?

      Anyways hope he make a new game, should be good.

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        October 3, 2012 4:54 PM

        Via Twitter he seems pretty excited about Fortnite. I'm guessing he's just a bit burned out and just got married and probably wants to take some time. Any guesses where he will go next? Microsoft perhaps?

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          October 3, 2012 5:00 PM

          Yeah I bet he must be fried, he is a real cool guy I am a fan. Seem like a good fit, probably MS or start his own shop. After his break it will all depend on how hungry he is, if he just wants to chill I bet MS if not and he wants to go ape shit he will make his own shop.

          Its a toss up, since he is newly married he may not even come back, who knows.

          I hope he re charges and comes back personally and make his own shop.

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          October 3, 2012 6:18 PM

          My guess is he's going to take a stab at film.

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        October 4, 2012 4:31 AM

        In his recent reddit AMA he spoke at length of how we had become more excited about systems based games like Skyrim. He said his dream project would be a next gen open world space rpg in the vein of Skyrim.

        That really isn't something i can see Epic developing, so maybe he's going to go it alone and start his own developer.

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      October 3, 2012 4:58 PM

      Oh wow! best of luck cliffy!

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      October 3, 2012 5:37 PM

      Hmmm... Next year - Kickstarter incoming?...

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      October 3, 2012 5:59 PM

      Good for him. A man with his talent and bank account can afford the luxury of molting. I look forward to seeing what emerges.

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      October 3, 2012 8:07 PM

      Sounds like he's on to better things in his life, or something. Good for him.

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      October 3, 2012 8:17 PM

      "Special thanks"

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        October 3, 2012 8:41 PM

        Hehe; I shouldn't laugh at that, but it's only fair that he gets "Special Thanks" on Gears: Judgment.

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      October 3, 2012 8:57 PM

      best news i've in a while

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      October 3, 2012 9:40 PM

      What the fuck? That came out of nowhere

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      October 3, 2012 10:12 PM

      Random and surprising

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      October 4, 2012 1:02 AM

      Hehe, "Creator of Gears of War" leaves Epic. I guess more people know who that is today than the "Creator of Unreal".

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        October 4, 2012 2:06 AM

        Creator of Jazz the Jack Rabbit.

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        October 4, 2012 2:11 AM

        I'm checking in the game, he did almost all the good UT maps. Respect.

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          October 4, 2012 3:48 AM

          Cliff gets a lot of crap for his persona and he's had fun with it, but at the core he's a hugely talented game designer. Every project he's worked on had really tight gameplay and fun mechanics. I hope he stays in the industry.

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            October 4, 2012 3:53 AM

            This pretty much sums up how I feel about the game. I've had lots of fun with both Unreal and Gears.

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              October 4, 2012 4:42 AM

              Yeah ditto. He gets shit for playing up his character sometimes, but honestly he's worked on some great games. As mentioned here,the fact that his levels in Unreal and UT were awesome shows he's not just a figurehead too.

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            October 4, 2012 9:04 AM

            Ya...but then it always had something ruining what would otherwise be a greatly enjoyable experience.

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            October 4, 2012 11:53 AM

            This. I think for a while he was playing a character he thought was part of the industry (same as, say, Romero) but I think he has outgrown it. Never liked Gears of War (apart from admiring the production value and visuals) but lots of respect for the guy.

            I wish him the best luck; he has a unique experience in the industry and I can't wait to see what he'll do next.

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          October 4, 2012 4:41 AM

          Yup, him and Myscha IMO.

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          October 4, 2012 4:44 AM

          For reference http://liandri.beyondunreal.com/Cliff_Bleszinski

          Vortex Rikers was the opening Unreal level everyone remembered for the moment you step outside.

          And DM turbine is still my favourite ever UT leve.

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      October 4, 2012 5:42 AM

      LOOK OUT! CLIFFYB IS IN TEH BUSHES BEHIND YOU!!

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      October 4, 2012 8:47 AM

      Halo 4 made him out of that game lol. Thats suck. o_O

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      October 4, 2012 10:34 AM

      ohai shack.. wait what?! (does double take)

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      October 4, 2012 12:18 PM

      Damn, bummer

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      October 4, 2012 12:48 PM

      I wonder if he has any equity/ownership in Epic? Given how long he has been there, and the contributions he's made, you could only hope they have him something.

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      October 4, 2012 3:07 PM

      dude just went huge

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