BREAKING: CliffyB Leaves Epic Games After 20 Years
Well, this is something of a shock. After a tenure lasting nearly 20 years, Cliff Bleszinski (AKA CliffyB, though he retired that nickname in 2008) has left his position as Design Director at Epic Games, effective immediately. The news was broken today on Epic’s official site. “Today,” the statement reads, “we are saying farewell with warm regards to Cliff Bleszinski, who is departing as Epic’s design director to chart the next stage of his career. During the past two decades, Cliff has helped shape many successful games that have captured the imaginations of millions of players around the world. We are grateful for his influence on Epic’s legacy, from the wild adventures “Jazz Jackrabbit” to the visceral combat of “Gears of War.””
This is going to change things at Epic Games rather significantly; Cliffy has been the face of the company as well as the driving force behind its most lucrative properties. Sadly for those of us in the Internet journalism biz, there’s no gossip; it’s amicable, and appears to simply be due to Cliff wanting to move on to new things. He had this to say about his departure:
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.
He wasn’t kidding about having grew up in the studio – he started in 1993, when he was 18 years old, and has been there ever since. For those of you keeping score, no, you didn’t do anything remotely that cool when you were 18.
We wish Cliff luck on whatever his next game is, and we’ll be keeping an eye on his next move with great interest.