Cliff Bleszinski Doesn't Want Gears of War to Be His Defining Legacy
In a fantastic interview with Gamasutra, notorious Gears of War designer talks about his life, his career, and his path ahead. It's a remarkably introspective look at one of the industry's most beloved figureheads, a former bad-boy of gaming who wants to be known as more than that. He has a remarkably even-handed look at his Gears of War legacy and explicitely says he doesn't want that to be it for him.
He's been MIA since leaving Epic a year and a half ago but from the sound of things he's missing his heyday. He loves the sense of community, the fact that people were so influenced and moved by his work that they cosplayed as characters and got tattoos featuring his creations. But at the same time, he knows exactly what kind of game Gears of War is.
"As far as [Gears], at the end of the day, you're shooting fucking lizard-men in the fucking face with a fucking chainsaw gun," he tells the site candidly. "It didn't wind up what I'd hoped; I'd pitched it as 'Band of Brothers with monsters' -- you know Band of Brothers is well-done and emotional, telling the story of the Greatest Generation and what they did in the war. Yet somehow we landed on 'Predator'... the characters being all 'buff and manly', I'd never planned on that."
He's not embarassed by it, but he feels like he can add more to the gaming world. He knows, however, that the major studios are going about it all wrong. The gaming community has moved on, he says, and online interactions can allow development teams to have closer relationships with the players and help build the game for them and with them.
"The whole 'old guard,' where you get a Game Informer cover and an E3 reveal, is dead," Bleszinski says. "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?"
But at the same time, he doesn't see himself straying to far from his roots.
"I can't wait for the next thing from Fullbright," he says of the developer of Gone Home, which he loved. "It was 'Heavenly Creatures: The game.' I'll buy anything they make. As a developer myself, I will probably always make shooters. It's in my DNA."
"I don't want Gears to be my defining legacy. At the end of the day, it's known for being a fun, fantastic franchise. But I'd like to think there's more to my creativity than that."