Cliff Bleszinski, also known as Cliffy B, is well known for his work on the Gears of War franchise. Bleszinski was labeled as the design director of Epic Games, as well as the unofficial spokesman of the company. While it’s nice to see him get the break he deserves, its rightful for fans of the Gears of War series to worry about the upcoming Gears of War: Judgment.
Cliff was the lead game designer for the Gears of War franchise and was a key figure in what made the game successful. In order to stress his importance, think of the lead game designer as a movie director; now take away the director of your favorite movie and it would be completely different, if it even exists at all. Bleszinski’s departure comes at a strange time given that the next Gears of War game, the newest release of his finest work, is coming out in March 2012. The game is obviously not finished yet and we know Bleszinski was hard at work on the game, so it’s is bit concerning that he didn’t stay around to see the game being finished.
Judging that the next Gears of War game comes out in approximately 6 months, it is likely that Cliff had a big impact on the game, since the average game usually takes anywhere from 2-4 years to complete. It’s not possible that he could have finished up his part of the process, as lead game designers have final say until the game goes “gold,” and even beyond that when DLC starts rolling in. This will certainly put the quality of the Judgment in question, especially if the game isn’t a critically reviewed success.
Luckily for fans of the series, the Gears of War team has 3 other games to fall back upon, and can see Cliff’s work as easily as powering on an Xbox 360 and playing the older games for inspiration. I imagine that this will be the last Gears of War game, since it is the last one that Bleszinski was able to work on, even if it wasn’t completed under his watch. Epic Games needs to reassure fans of the series that the game will not suffer on quality, by either releasing new information of the game or a new video to show what they have in action.
Epic Games has a lot of talented people working on their games. The loss of Bleszinski will be felt but hopefully wont mean a huge loss of quality in the overall game. The rest of Cliff’s team should be able to wrap up the Xbox 360 exclusive without him, even if that means the game takes a little longer to finish or suffers some without his expertise.
In a perfect world, Cliff Bleszinski will someday return to the video game industry, although it didn’t sound like that was his plan when he announced that he was leaving. I wish him the best on his future endeavors, and hope to play another game by him sometime in the future.
What do you think about Cliff Bleszinski leaving Epic Games? Are you still interested in Gears of War Judgment? How do you think it will affect the game overall? Let me know in the comments below