When you create a mega-franchise that has literally defined an entire console generation, where do you go? What does the next-generation of Cliff Bleszinski have that the last-gen didn't?
Epic Games announced the departure today in a blog post saying that Beszinski was on his way to the "next stage of his career." After 20 years at Epic, the next stage is probably the last stage before retirement. With the Unreal franchise and engine under his belt, Cliffy B will undoubtedly continue to be a hot commodity in the industry. Epic CEO and founder Tim Sweeney wrote in the same blog post:
In 20 wonderful years with Epic, Cliff Bleszinski has grown into a true design luminary, and his contributions to the "Unreal" and "Gears" series have helped shape the game industry into what it is today. Cliff leaves Epic with our gratitude for his many contributions, and our wishes for continued success in the next chapter of his life!
Bleszinski added to the same blog post:
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.