Cliff Bleszinkski, the design director best known for his work on the Unreal and Gears of War franchises, has left Epic Games.
Blezzinksi's departure was announced through Epic Game's official website, in which Bleszinski released a statement about this departure:
"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 [Epic Games President Dr. Michael 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, People Can Fly, or Impossible will be top notch and will please gamers and critics alike."
One of the longest working people in the industry, Bleszinski first games included Jazz Jackrabbit and Dare to Dream in the early '90s, before coming to prominence with Unreal Tournament, and moe recently as the lead designer on the Gears of War trilogy. Whether his departure from Epic means the end of his career in game design is unknown, but we wish Bleszenski the best in his future endeavors.
Interestingly, Epic Games producer Rod Fergusson and Epic Games subsidiary People Can Fly's creative director Adrian Chmielarz have also left Epic in the last month. How these departures will effect the next entry in the Gears of War series, Gears of War: Judgement, remains to be seen.
[Source: Epic Games]