Cliff Bleszinski, Epic Games’ design director, is leaving for the next part of his career. In the past 20 years Bleszinski has created many games, and shaped the Gears of War series from the very beginning.
Epic’s founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney, expressed his feelings on Bleszinski’s departure, “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!”
Bleszinski’s departure is similar to that of the Bioware co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, who also recently exited the industry. However, Bleszinski’s personal note to his colleagues explained the reasoning behind his decision:
I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager, and outside of my sabbatical last year, I have been going non-stop. I literally grew up in this business, as Mike [Capps, president of Epic,] likes to say. And now that I’m grown up, it’s time for a much needed break. I will miss the projects, the playtests, the debates, and most importantly, the people. Epic only hires the best of the best, and it has been a joy working with each and every one of you on a daily basis, whether you were hired weeks ago or decades ago. I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with a variety of disciplines, from code to art to marketing and PR – it’s been one big, rewarding learning experience. I’m confident that each project that is being built, whether at Epic, Chair, PCF, or Impossible will be top notch and will please gamers and critics alike.”
Mark Rein, vice president at Epic, was supportive of Blezinski’s choice, and explained that “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.”
It’s clear Bleszinski is taking a break from the gaming industry, but it is uncertain as to whether or not he will return. Regardless of what he does with his future, Bleszinski has left a great influence on the industry.