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Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski vows to never make another game (update)

LawBreakers
LawBreakers (Image credit: Boss Key Productions)

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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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

9 Comments
  • Nah.. He will be back. Or or.. Microsoft do ya thing and add him to Microsoft studios :P
  • Lol, making the same mistake twice after each other and now he is crying. I do think Lawbreakers looks good, just been there done that.
  • I watched some video that briefly explains the situation, and after that I have no empathy for the guy at all. He sounds and acts like a ******. Also if making Overwatch and Fortnite clones is what's considered talent today, then thanks but no thanks, better off without him.
  • I agree. It seems that his creative fire has burned out. This happens sometimes in this industry. If you get angry and give up after two games fail then maybe he needs a break. It must be stressful. Seems like he needs to get back to the heart of what game making is all about.
  • Lawbreakers came a year later after Overwatch was released, and Overwatch was pretty much a hit and successful franchise by then. Same goes for Radical Heights and Fortnite. Rather than complaining about your sh*t, try to be unique with your ideas, even if it not that massive. A small but genuine idea can one day grow into something big on its own.
  • Cliffy B. Needs to just suck it up, and realize that he was only good at Gears. If he really about that $ than he should go back to Microsoft and work on Gears. The same with Bungie. After they done with they Activision contract they should go back, and fix Halo. Because.... 343 has butchered that franchise!
  • I like H5's system better. Dash / dodge, ground pound, climb, more agile, more option (but you cannot re-gen your shield cause you redirects the power to perform those actions, a choice). Imagine one wears tech armor, his/her only option to avoid missiles is walk?
  • The industry has become too competitive, ruthlessly so. There will be a couple hits all the kids are playing, and little space for anything else. Especially outside the biggest major studios. Even PUBG which was a sleeper hit is having mild trouble because of the other competing copycat kid game. So making games which cost a lot of money is being increasingly risky because no matter how good your game is, most of the kids are not going to stop playing Overwatch or whatever the flavor of the month game is.
  • i dont know why he just didnt join the xbox team? IMagine all of the money to go towards your games, and dont have to deal with dealing with employee's healthcare and stuff. He literally gave microsoft Gears of War. He deserves to be on the same lightlight as Rare, Playground Games, and others.