Clifford Bleszinski, (sometimes known as CliffyB) is a well known video game developer. He used to work with Epic Games who are the creators of the classic first person shooter Unreal, its subsequent games were one of the cornerstones of the 90′s PC multi-player experience. Epic Games and their video game engine (Unreal Engine) have shaped video games for the entire 7th generation of consoles. Unreal Engine 3 was (and is) so widely used that many fans can recognise when a game was created with it from a couple of screenshots or 5 seconds of footage.
Epic Games and Bleszinski’s main impact on the 7th generation of consoles (7th gen) was probably Gears of War (Gears) which popularised the cover shooting 3rd person shooter. Whilst they weren’t the first to use such a system they definitely opened the public eye to its existence. You would be hard pressed to find a 7th gen 3rd person shooter that came after Gears that didn’t use at least a variation of their cover shooter. Whilst it may not feel the most effective system on PC where mobility is preferred on consoles where moving and precise aim requires a lot more skill this system nailed exactly how a console 3rd person shooter should be made. Bleszinski hasn’t been working with Epic Games for about a year and a half now and it looks like he’s looking at getting back into developing games.
In a recent interview with Gamasutra Bleszinski made a rather surprising comment; “The whole ‘old guard’, where you get a Game Informer cover and an E3 reveal, is dead… I’ll never make another disc-based game for the rest of my career, and [at E3] they’re trying to woo buyers from Target and Walmart?”. This comment alone made the gaming community incredibly interested, but this wasn’t the most interesting thing he talked about by far. Despite the fact that Bleszinski made an almost perfect console control system he wants to delve into the world of PC gaming.
“PC is where I’m going to wind up. That’s where the community is,” he says. “The trend will always be the core. If I start a studio, I want a community manager there day one. I want weekly video or podcasts; I want task lists available on the subreddit. When my wife and I play Rust, before we play, we check the subreddit. Whenever you get a little bored with a game, someone issues an update. I feel like a game developer again, where I get to check out the build list.”
Bleszinski hints that he wants to make a game with emotional impact, he even claims that he originally intended Gears to be such a game which probably explains the mad world trailer. It’s exciting to see what he’ll come up with next, will he innovate the PC industry like he did with Consoles? We’ll just have to wait and see.