Cliff Bleszinski – Epic Games design director – has announced that he is leaving the company he’s been working with for two decades, moving on to “chart the next stage of his career”. The news has shocked gamers around the world – Cliff has has a significant impact on Epic‘s legacy, from Jazz Jackrabbit all the way up to recent titles in the Gears of War franchise.
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.
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.
In the blog post, Cliff’s Epic colleagues describe him as “a true design luminary”, a man with “unflinching passion” for creating games of the highest quality.
Mark Rein, vice president of Epic sums things up nicely:
I’ll miss watching his star shine from such a close vantage point but I’ll still look forward to watching his continued success.
No further information has been offered about why Cliff is leaving the studio he’s helped shape, or where he’ll be headed to next. Perhaps the newly-married developer would like to have some quiet time.