November 19, 2018: Cliff Bleszinski posted another message on Facebook which detailed why he doesn't want to make another game. Bleszinski said that the high cost of development and unrealistic expectations have made it impossible for him to make another title.
Cliff Bleszinski is known for his work on the Gears of War franchise, but a few years ago, he formed his own studio called Boss Key Productions. The first game the team released was called LawBreakers, a first-person shooter where players ski, grapple, fly, slide, and kick their way to victory. The title featured gravity-defying multiplayer combat which required some skill to master.
LawBreakers garnered good reviews, but it failed to gain a lot of traction among gamers. The player count rapidly declined and instead of supporting the title so that people would return, Boss Key Productions decided to start work on a game called Radical Heights. Radical Heights was a free-to-play battle royale title along the lines of Fortnite. While the project featured some interesting ideas, ultimately it was panned for its unimaginative gameplay.
I know I don't post much on here, but with recent news that came off of my...statement, thought I'd say some stuff. I really, honestly, feel over it... making games... We're in a polarized world in which we yell at each other through the glaze of glowing rectangles, when we could be kind to one another in person. We're in a world where it's cooler to watch other people play one to three games than to actually play one yourself. We're in a world where you're measured by the number of likes, subscribes, and impressions you get. We're in a world where expectations for a product are so off the charts, as are marketing budgets, that game budgets are so crazy that the average consumer can't wrap their head around the cost of making said product. I'm honestly not bitter... Games were good to me, however, the thought of doing it again truly doesn't appeal to me. You haven't seen the thousand yard stares that I've gotten from other developer friends who haven't been able to retire when we have a pint and they're done with work. The nonstop dysfunction. No one knows what they're doing, and those who hit it big are just as talented as they are lucky, and have good timing. Most have families, and the instability of the business terrifies them. Hell, it scared me, not having kids — imagine fearing for your job and being encouraged to work more than twelve hour days, six days a week, just to provide for your family. Which is why my... job now is focusing on friends and family.
In May 2018, Bleszinski announced that he was closing down his studio. This comes as a shock to many because of Bleszinski's position in the industry and his experience working on major games. Instead of providing almost no support to his employees like Telltale Games, Bleszinski paid for their healthcare and other benefits for months after Boss Key Productions folded.
Unfortunately, it seems like many LawBreakers players are unhappy that the funds went towards the employees, and some asked for refunds. Bleszinski replied to one person and clarified where the proceeds went. He also added that he is "never making another game." It's unclear if this is a statement made out of anger, or a declaration for the future. Hopefully Bleszinski will reconsider down the line once he moves past what happened with Boss Key Productions. However, only time will tell. It would be a shame if the gaming industry were deprived of his talent forever.
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