Gears of War creator quits after 20 years at the studio 'to take a much needed break'

Cliff Bleszinski leaves Epic Games

Games industry luminary and Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski has left Epic Games.

Bleszinski, also affectionately known as Cliffy B, has been in development for 20 years creating hit titles such as Jazz Jackrabbit and one of Xbox’s flagship franchises, Gears of War.

He said he had now decided to leave the studio to take a "much needed break".

No further information was given on his departure, or what his next venture may be.

"I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager, and outside of my sabbatical last year, I have been going non-stop," said Bleszinski.

"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."

Epic president Michael Capps said he was grateful for all of Bleszinski’s hard work at the studio and his passion for creating games "of the highest quality".

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney added: "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."

Studio VP Mark Rein also said: “Cliff has been my friend and business associate for the past 20 years and, while it is sad to see him move on from Epic, I know that everyone here has benefitted greatly from his passion for gaming and the depth of his expertise and experience.

“I’ll miss watching his star shine from such a close vantage point but I’ll still look forward to watching his continued success."

Cliff Bleszinski has worked for Epic since the age of 17. His first game was 1991 Windows adventure game The Palace of Deceit: Dragon’s Plight. The game proved such a hit after he sent it to Epic that they offered him the chance to work on another title, Dare to Dream, which was released in 1993.

Since then, Cliffy B has worked on a number of big hits at Epic including Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal and later on creating the studio’s hit franchise Gears of War, which has since spawned two sequels, with a prequel, Gears of War: Judgment, also in the works for release next year.

In total, Bleszinski is credited with work on at least 27 titles. His full list of games credits are listed below:

The Palace of Deceit: the Dragon’s Plight – 1992

Dare to Dream Volume One: In a Darkened Room – 1993

Jazz Jackrabbit – 1994

Tyrian – 1995

Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare – 1995

Unreal – 1998

Jazz Jackrabbit 2 – 1998

Unreal Tournament – 1999

Tyrian 2000 – 1999

Jazz Jackrabbit 2: The Secret Files – 1999

Unreal Tournament 2003 – 2002

Unreal Championship – 2002

Jazz Jackrabbit – 2002

Unreal II: The Awakening – 2003

Devastation – 2003

Unreal Tournament 2004 – 2004

Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict – 2005

Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 – 2005

Gears of War – 2006

Unreal Tournament III – 2007

Gears of War 2 – 2008

Shadow Complex – 2009

Fat Princess – 2009

Lost Planet 2 – 2010

Bulletstorm – 2011

Gears of War 3 – 2011

Gears of War: Judgment – 2013

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