Epic Games' most famous figure, design director Cliff 'CliffyB' Bleszinski, is leaving the company after twenty years for reasons unspecified.
'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,' Epic founder and chief executive Tim Sweeney said of Bleszinski's departure. 'Cliff leaves Epic with our gratitude for his many contributions, and our wishes for continued success in the next chapter of his life!'
The reasons for Bleszinski's departure from the company, for which he has worked as designer and outspoken figurehead for two decades, have not been disclosed by either party.
'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,' Bleszinski wrote in a message to colleagues prior to his departure today.
'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.'
'Cliff has been my friend and business associate for the past 20 years and, while it is sad to see him move on from Epic, I know that everyone here has benefited greatly from his passion for gaming and the depth of his expertise and experience,' added Mark Rein, vice president of Epic, in a notice regarding Bleszinski's exit from the company. 'I'll miss watching his star shine from such a close vantage point but I'll still look forward to watching his continued success.'
Thus far, Bleszinski has not indicated what his next career move will be.