Epic Games today announced that Cliff Bleszinski, design director for the game development studio, has left his position with Epic. Bleszinski has been a part of Epic for over two decades, and has been the public face of the company for years. During his time at Epic, Bleszinski was a part of games such as the Unreal franchise and the Gears of War franchise.
“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," said Time Sweeny, Epic founder and CEO. "Cliff leaves Epic with our gratitude for his many contributions, and our wishes for continued success in the next chapter of his life!”
Epic stated that Bleszinski is moving on to the "next stage of his career," though what that stage is isn't mentioned. Responding on Twitter, Bleszinski was also vague about his future plans:
Perhaps I'll wander the earth, like Cain in "Kung Fu."
Epic also released a portion of a personal note Bleszinski sent to his coworkers, which provide some insight into why the man would leave a position so many people would consider a dream job:
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.