Cliff Bleszinski has been quiet since leaving Gears of War developer Epic Games. Well, not quiet. He's been chiming in about all sorts of things and playing a lot of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. But we don't know how he's been ...
It looks like we're going to do this dance again. So soon. In the wake of Microsoft reversing its Xbox One DRM policies, brave corporate warrior Cliff Bleszinski wasted little time in telling us how this would be a bad thing for the industry and gamers. Make no mistake -- he's not the only one. Disconcertingly, his views are echoed by angry press members and naive customers alike.
"More studios WILL close and you’ll see more PC and mobile games," warned Bleszinski, preparing us from the grim darkness of the 21st Century. "... Brace yourselves. More tacked on multiplayer and DLC are coming. You’re also about to see available microtransactions skyrocket. HATS FOR EVERYONE."
Bleszinski is joined by Gizmodo in his portents of despair and misery. Claiming that "we" all made the Xbox One worse as a result of our complaints, writer Kyle Wagner used no evidence to claim Microsoft's DRM would definitely have been great for everybody, and would lead to a world of cheaper games. Because the game industry has demonstrated many times that, when it has a monopoly, consumers benefit. Except, y'know, not.
It takes a lot of naivety to trust so willingly in Microsoft, a company that's done absolutely nothing to earn our trust. It takes even more to believe that an industry so dependent on heavy-handed consumer control deserves to survive. Frankly, any industry that suffers due to the reversal of ONE console's DRM policies is an industry that deserves to suffer.
Game developer Cliff Bleszinski has never been a fan of the used game market, and he's made his feelings on the Xbox One and PS4 policies quite clear -- he supports Microsoft's decision to "redefine" the concept of videogame ownership, in a bid to protect the way videogames are currently made.
"You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing," he said. "The numbers do NOT work people ... The visual fidelity and feature sets we expect from games now come with sky high costs. Assassins Creed games are made by thousands of devs."
Clifford's stance is fairly clear -- games are too expensive, and so the customers must be the ones to compromise. This is presented as our responsibility, our fault even. We "expect" good looking games with high marketing budgets, and publishers are forced to comply.
Except ... that's really not true, and while Bleszinski has actually very adequately highlighted the problem with modern videogame development, he's gone and focused on the wrong part of it.
The Oculus Rift is the latest rage with all the cool tech kids these days, and the future looks bright for this virtual-reality headset. The Unreal Engine 4 will be able to take full advantage of the headset with support buil...
In recent interview with Engadget, former Gears of War honcho Cliff Bleszinski caught us up with his current projects, which entail talking about videogames, investing in Oculus Rift, and... playing Candy Crunch. It's a puzzl...
Sticking to the promise he made several days ago, designer Cliff Bleszinski has gone ahead and had his hair shaved off in the name of charity.
The former design director for Epic Games raised some $15,000 that will be going ...
As we noted yesterday, former Epic man Cliff Bleszinski took some time to defend the controversial use of microtransactions in retail games, sticking up for it on the basis that companies exist to make money. I rarely turn down an opportunity to have a debate on these matters, so let's offer a respectful disagreement.
"The video game industry is just that. An industry," he wrote on his blog. "Which means that it exists in a capitalistic world. You know, a free market. A place where you’re welcome to spend your money on whatever you please … or to refrain from spending that money.
"I’ve seen a lot of comments online about microtransactions. They’re a dirty word lately, it seems. Gamers are upset that publishers/developers are 'nickel and diming them.' They’re raging at 'big and evil corporations who are clueless and trying to steal their money.' I’m going to come right out and say it. I’m tired of EA being seen as 'the bad guy.' I think it’s bullshit that EA has the 'scumbag EA' memes on Reddit and that Good Guy Valve can Do No Wrong."
I think I've got a tiny violin somewhere, I'll hunt it down and play EA a tune! Seriously though, I don't think EA's being bullied without cause. The company managed to acquire many talented studios and a lot of great intellectual property. When you cultivate a passionate fanbase, then try to trade that passion in for money, I think you should expect a backlash. That's what's happening here.
Designer Cliff Bleszinski has shared his thoughts on the microtransactions and the backlash they receive, arguing that game companies exist to make money and if people don't like them or their practices, they can vote with th...
Cliff Bleszinski has painted a grim portrait of the game console landscape in a recent GI interview, likening the "state of transition" to that experienced in the famous videogame market crash. His most controversial statement was the suggestion that Nintendo may step away from hardware entirely. Oh dear.
"This business has not been in a state of transition like it is right now since the video game crash of the '80s," he said. "I really think we're in a massive state of turmoil. I think Nintendo could possibly be faced with the situation of becoming a company that only makes software moving forward. I think Sony and Microsoft are about to come to major blows. But at the same time, people love playing games on their iPad.
"The PC is going through a wonderful renaissance right now. I think we're ready to do digital download games all the time ... I just want to see what happens. In regards to the industry, it's like the Super Smash Bros. of business right now, and I want to see if Peach or Mario wins."
While Bleszinski's words will likely infuriate Nintendo fans, his warning that the console industry is facing potential turmoil is spot-on in my opinion. The market has become such a convoluted mess right now, I wouldn't rule anything out of the equation. I'd personally see Microsoft stepping away from games hardware before Nintendo, but who knows what'll happen in the next five years?
Except, of course, the one thing we all know -- PC gaming f*ck yeah!
As Dead Space 3 trades terror for cover mechanics, and Resident Evil 6 gives up all pretense of being a scary game, it's becomes ever clearer that mainstream publishers have no faith in horror games. Developer Cliff Bleszinski agrees, claiming the $60 retail market just won't accept such experiences anymore.
"In the $60 disc based market horror doesn’t fly -- it’s the ultimate 'Campaign Rental' that's played for 2 days and traded in and I’m sure EA knows this," said Cliffy in a blog post. "When we're fully digital we’ll see more true horror games coming back. (Look at Amnesia and Slenderman on PC.)"
The trouble is, I don't think digital is going to truly solve the issue, because I don't believe it's a "retail" problem. The problem, as I see it, is the continued bloating of development costs and marketing budgets to the point where every single game needs to be a mass market success or else considered a failure. Horror games can be successful, but only if you have a realistic expectation of what success actually means.
This year's PAX East keynote (or "Storytime" as Penny Arcade is referring to it as now) will be hosted by Cliff Bleszinski. The charismatic man is always a pleasure to listen to, and I'm really looking forward to hearing what...
Over a year ago, Cliff Bleszinski (then of Epic Games) and myself had a public falling out and have never traded a word since.
Ever a man of peace and goodwill, I hereby extend the olive branch the only way I know how -- with a little help from The Escapist's very own Miracle of Sound.
Well hello there, jewels. How are you doing this fine evening? Staying dry, I hope? Wha-OKAY ENOUGH SMALL TALK.
On today's Destructoid Show, we're treated to a launch trailer for Assassin's Creed III, a live-action trai...
Cliffy B, honcho behind the Gears of War series, recently became a free agent. Meanwhile at Capcom, Resident Evil 6 has been collecting some of the worst reviews in the series history, largely due to the game's arguably faile...
On today's completely professional, mature, and otherwise not stupid or embarrassing Destructoid Show, we discuss some very serious topics. First, a season pass is announced for Assassin's Creed III, and the first DLC will b...
Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski, known for his work on Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal, and Gears of War, is leaving the company "to chart the next stage of his career."
"I've been doing this since I was a teenager," he writes, "and outside of my sabbatical last year, I have been going non-stop. I literally grew up in this business, as Mike [Capps] 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."
In addition to his personal remarks, there are also comments from Epic's Tim Sweeney, Mike Capps, and Mark Rein. It's surprising to see Cliff go, but his reasoning is something I can sympathize with. I'm curious to see what he does next.