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When game designer Cliff Bleszinski retired from gaming back in 2012, it turns out he didn't mean “for a couple of years while I recharge my batteries.” In a recent interview, he explained that, for a little while at least, he thought he was walking away for good.
In a recent interview with Destructoid, Bleszinski explained that he had grown weary of the games industry in it entirety.
Cliffy B. made quite the name for himself from a very young age, having a huge hand in both the Unreal series, as well as the Xbox exclusive hit series, Gears of War. Back in 2012, Bleszinski announced that he was stepping away from games entirely, and now we have a reason for why that is. In chatting with Destructoid, he explained that pretty much everyone he interacted with had become jaded.
I honestly thought I was done. It was a combination of gamers feeling jaded, as well as working with some very talented people who were also very jaded. I could pitch the most amazing idea to anybody back when I was Epic toward the end, and they'd be like 'I don't buy it.'
That's not all that surprising in this current generation of gaming. Making a big AAA game costs a lot of money. For publishers to feel confident in moving forward with such a project, it seems like you've either got to be pitching a sequel or offering up a surefire winner. There is, of course, no such thing as a surefire winner, which is probably why Cliffy had such a hard time convincing folks to try something different. You can't really blame the guy for wanting to step away from a career where he thought he was the only one who was still excited about making and playing games.
After a few years away from the industry, though, Bleszinski appears to be ready to shake up the games industry once again. Heading up his new studio at Boss Key, the team is hard at work getting the recently announced arena shooter LawBreakers ready for prime time.
It's probably appropriate that LawBreakers looks so much like the beloved Unreal Tournament, giving Cliffy B. a chance to return to his roots and inject a fan-favorite genre with some modern muscle and concepts. If this takes hold and shows the director that the industry is still open to new ideas, there's no telling what might be coming from Boss Key next.