Cliff Bleszinski has revealed that he is not going to make another video game. The developer, who is renowned for his work on the likes of the Unreal and Gears of War franchises, took to Twitter to confirm that he has no intention of going back into video game development.
Cliffy B's leave of absence from gaming came after the closure of his own studio, Boss Key Productions. After taking the gamble of full creative control under his own company, unfortunately debut title Lawbreakers failed to find an audience, and although battle royale title Radical Heights was rushed into an early access release, it couldn't save Boss Key Productions as a whole.
This resulted in the closure of Boss Key Productions, but some of those who played Lawbreakers are still aggrieved over the game's failure and their personal money lost in purchases for the hero shooter. A comment from one of these former Lawbreakers players is what prompted Cliffy B to confirm his reluctance to make another game. When asked again about refunds for players, Bleszinski stated that he is "NEVER making another game."
I paid my employees, their 401ks, and their health care - even months after the studio folded. So they could care for their families.— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) November 15, 2018
I didn't take a salary myself for two years.
I get you're sad, but god, this kinda shit is another reason I am NEVER making another game. https://t.co/RtS7l5WcAl
Bleszinski has been quite open about his regrets over Lawbreakers' failure to find an audience, and has kept a dialogue going with its player base, so his frustrations are understandable here. Meanwhile, it's impressive to see that Cliffy B had such a focus on making sure that the team at Boss Key was supported, with Bleszinski explaining that he supported the team with pay and benefits even months after the studio folded so "they could care for their families," while refusing to take a salary himself for two years.
It's certainly a better model for the industry than Telltale's awful treatment of its staff during the studio's closure this year. Layoffs were swift and brutal, resulting in a class action lawsuit for violating labor laws. The studio's excited plans to try and finish the final season of The Walking Dead were then understandably met with ire by those who would prefer the company focus on paying its former employees proper severance.
Nonetheless it is a shame to see that Bleszinski is looking to remove himself from gaming entirely. Cliffy B was responsible for some of the best moments in action games, from Unreal Tournament through to Gears of War, and those artwork reveals for unfinished Boss Key games certainly suggested that there were some interesting ideas in the pipeline as well. Hopefully, whatever Bleszinski's next venture is will be a success.