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Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski leaves Epic

Bleszinski is taking a break before heading… somewhere

Epic Games has announced that studio design director and Gears of War lead designer Cliff Bleszinski has left the studio. The split between Bleszinski and the studio is an amicable one, led by his desire to take a "much needed break".

"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!" said Epic CEO Tim Sweeney.

"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," added Epic president Dr. Michael Capps.

"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 likes to say. And now that I'm grown up, it's time for a much needed break," said Bleszinski in a note to his colleagues.

Back in June Epic sold a minority stake in the company to Chinese internet and mobile operator Tencent.

[Image via OXM]

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Latest comments (8)

Paul Jace Merchandiser 8 years ago
I'm a huge fan of Cliff's games and the Gears of War series won't be the same without him. That said, he deserves a break and I wish him well.

On a side note, maybe him and the Bioware Doctors will turn up with a new studio in 2013/2014. Hey, a man can dream right?

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 3rd October 2012 10:58pm

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Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College8 years ago
Wow! Did not see this coming...

Pretty sure if you cut Cliff he would bleed Epic blood!
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Jack Lee8 years ago
I'm a little shocked at this as well. Cliff always seemed, from afar anyway, like an institution. He WAS Epic, and Epic was, in large part, Cliff. I'm sure the studio(s) will carry on quite well without him, as they seemed to be almost drowning in talent, but from the perspective of someone who remembers Jazz Jackrabbit (just the demo, no less) as one of his first real games, having such a stalwart beacon of the game industry bow out is a little shocking.

I've always liked Cliff, including his brashness and perhaps over-zealous confidence. I wish him and his recently-hitched wife the best, and may his holiday be a restful one.
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Show all comments (8)
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
Oh, everyone needs a break, especially after so damn long in one spot doing so much. I think it's great news on a creative front for Cliffy, as he's been at this forever and a few days. I bet he's back with some new IP that makes a few jaws drop. See you when you're back, CB - enjoy your holiday!
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany8 years ago
Best of luck for him. May he have a renovating rest for the time being. I'm going to be paying attention for whatever project he starts in the future.
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 8 years ago
I wait with unheld breath at the announcement of his new mobile focused indie studio and the "Getting back to those creative roots" speech.

Seriously though I'm sure we'll see him again in games soon enough.
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Charlie Cleveland Game Director/Founder, Unknown Worlds8 years ago
Best of luck to you Cliff!
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T. Elliot Cannon Game Designer 8 years ago
Best of luck to Cliff. Hopefully he'll snag a quick break,recharge batteries, and then start up something new that is 100% him with greater focus on fun game play and imagination and less about business. A lot of old schoolers are pullin' for ya.

Go for it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by T. Elliot Cannon on 4th October 2012 8:48pm

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