Radical Heights' Cliff Bleszinski accuses Fortnite developer of employee poaching [updated]

Ever since PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) gained popularity, games like Fortnite quickly adopted the "Battle Royale" genre. Now there are numerous such titles out there, with Cliff Bleszinski's "Radical Heights" being the latest entry in an increasingly crowded market.

Bleszinski left Epic Games many years ago and, after a brief hiatus, formed Boss Key Productions. Radical Heights is the studio's second game after "LawBreakers". LawBreakers failed to gain a significant following so Bleszinski hopes Radical Heights will be different due to its free-to-play nature.


However, it seems like the game's development may already be in trouble because Bleszinski recently accused Epic Games of trying to steal Boss Key's staff on Twitter. A few months ago, Boss Key's cofounder Arjan Brussee joined Epic Games after LawBreakers failed. Losing highly-skilled developers can be disastrous for young studios because it's hard to find that level of expertise that easily. This can greatly affect the quality of a game.


Bleszinski added that if this keeps on happening, Radical Heights might not make it to the market because the studio won't have many experienced developers. Whether this is true or not, the Gears of War creator definitely made his opinion vocal on social media. Epic Games hasn't responded to these allegations, but employee poaching is a common practice in the technology industry because there's high demand for certain technical skills.


Hopefully no more staff will leave Boss Key Productions and Radical Heights will leave early access soon. In order for the game to succeed, it needs to be on more platforms than LawBreakers, which was restricted to just PC and PlayStation 4. Xbox One owners love shooters so LawBreakers would've been a perfect fit.

At the same time, you can't blame developers for wanting to work for Epic Games because Fortnite is arguably the biggest game in the world right now and its developer the place to be. Job security isn't guaranteed for many game developers so wanting to be a part of an established company is a logical decision. That probably played a major part in their decision to leave.

Updated March 17, 2018: Epic Games declined to comment but William McCarroll, who left Boss Key last month, shared some harsh words on Twitter. He said, "With all due respect, assuming that Epic is the one starting... poaching is a bit presumptuous... We all had our own reasons for making the choice to leave... and to act like we are commodities being stolen is a bit hurtful. We are people first and foremost." Bleszinski has yet to respond to this.

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Asher Madan

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.