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Cliff Bleszinski has claimed that pushing his own “personal political beliefs in a world that was increasingly divided” was the reason behind LawBreakers‘ failure. The Gears of War creator claimed that his decision to “push his hackey politics,” including gender-neutral bathrooms appearing in the game, was a reason behind the FPS struggling financially.
“Ever since the studio closed I’ve been wracking my brain what I could have done differently,” Bleszinski said in an Instagram post. “Pivot HARD when the juggernaut of Overwatch was announced. Been less nice with my design ideas and more of a dictator with them.
“One big epiphany I had was that I pushed my own personal political beliefs in a world that was increasingly divided.”
Bleszinski went on to discuss how he felt his personal politics served to overtake the conversation surrounding the game.
“Instead of the story being ‘this game looks neat’ it became “this is the game with the ‘woke bro’ trying to push his hackey politics on us with gender neutral bathrooms.’,” he said. “Instead of ‘these characters seem fun’ it was ‘this is the studio with the CEO who refuses to make his female characters sexier.’ Instead of “who am I going to choose” it became ‘white dude shoehorns diversity in his game and then smells his own smug farts in interviews’ instead of just letting the product … speak for itself.”
Bleszinski then noted that he regrets inserting his political beliefs into LawBreakers, concluding: “It’s okay to be political when your company or studio is established for great product FIRST.”
It’s a curious take for Bleszinski, given that the conversation surrounding LawBreakers at the time of its launch wasn’t surrounding its politics, but rather its low player count as a result of its lack of promotion or wide consumer appeal. Competing against a behemoth like Overwatch, LawBreakers did little to stand apart from Blizzard’s blockbuster team-based FPS, and struggled to bring in players as a result.
Bleszinski’s now-defunct studio Boss Key Productions continued to stretch into genres occupied by much more competent competitors after LawBreakers‘ launch, releasing the failed battle royale game Radical Heights before shutting up shop for good. After Boss Key’s closure, Bleszinski stepped away from the gaming industry altogether, with it unclear if he plans to return in the future.