Cliff Bleszinski

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Clifford Bleszinski
Cliff BIeszinski.jpg
Bleszinski at the Gears of War 2 launch event in Universal City Walk Los Angeles in 2008
Born Clifford Michael Bleszinski
(1975-02-12) February 12, 1975 (age 40)
North Andover, Massachusetts, U.S.
Residence Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
Other names CliffyB, Dude Huge[1]
Occupation Game designer
Spouse(s) Lauren Bleszinski

Clifford Michael Bleszinski (born February 12, 1975), popularly known as CliffyB, is an American video game designer, former design director for the game development company Epic Games, and the founder of Boss Key Productions. He is most famous for his role in the development of the Unreal franchise, especially 1999's Unreal Tournament, and the Gears of War franchise.[2]


His first commercial game was made at age 17: an independently developed point-and-click adventure game called The Palace of Deceit: Dragon's Plight.[3][4] Bleszinski created the game while he was a student at Bonita High School in La Verne, California, and released it in 1991 via his own company, Game Syndicate Productions. He also sent a copy of the game to Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games (then known as Epic MegaGames).[5] Sweeney was impressed with the game and hired Bleszinski to work at Epic.[6][7][8]

Epic Games[edit]

His next game was Dare to Dream, a point-and-click adventure, released in 1993. One of Epic's first multi-person projects brought Bleszinski's talents to bear on 1994's Jazz Jackrabbit and then 1998's Jazz Jackrabbit 2. He would help develop many of the spin-off games such as Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare. It was with his involvement in designing the first-person shooter Unreal, though, that Bleszinski began the work for which he is best known today.[citation needed] Unreal grew out of an idea by fellow Epic designer James Schmalz.[9] Bleszinski felt that it was crucial to Epic that Unreal be a success.[citation needed] From the concept in late 1994 to release in May 1998, Epic threw all of its talent and money at Unreal, and it paid off: the result was a successful first-person shooter.[citation needed] In addition to his work on the Unreal series, Bleszinski served as lead designer on the Xbox 360 shooter Gears of War. The game's sequel Gears of War 2 was released in November 2008 for the Xbox 360. On April 12, 2010, he appeared on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to show the debut trailer for Gears of War 3, titled "Ashes to Ashes".[10][11] Gears of War 3 was Bleszinki's last game for the company.[12][13]

Departure from Epic[edit]

Bleszinski at the Gears of War event at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 2006

Cliff announced his departure from Epic Games on October 3, 2012. He has worked in Epic Games for 20 years and decided to chart the next stage of his career, giving the reason that he had been making games since he was a teenager and that it was time for a break.[14][15]

After Epic[edit]

On June 30, 2014, Cliff stated on Twitter, "I'm officially coming out of retirement to make video games again."[16][17][18] On July 8, 2014, Cliff announced a free-to-play, PC-focused arena shooter code-named BlueStreak created by Boss Key Productions, his new studio.[19][20][21]

On August 26, 2015, Cliff Bleszinksi revealed the first details about his upcoming free-to-play arena shooter, previously known as Project Bluestreak. The game which is due out some time in 2016 and going to be published by Nexon, will be called LawBreakers.[22]

Personal life[edit]

One of his brothers is Tyler Bleszinski, a sports blogger who founded Athletics Nation and Vox Media.[23] He is married to Lauren Bleszinski (née Berggren), who is a blogger.[24] The nickname "CliffyB" was given to him derogatorily by "some jock kid" when he was a shy teenager; he then took it and developed a tougher persona around it.[25] In 2008, he expressed a desire to retire the CliffyB moniker, saying it's "time to grow up a bit".[26] Bleszinski is an atheist.[27]

In 2014, Bleszinski opened a bar called The Station in Raleigh, North Carolina[28] and plans to open another establishment in the city in July 2015.[29]


Bleszinski at PAX Prime 2012

Video games[edit]



  1. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (April 8, 2010). "Why We Call Him Dude Huge". Kotaku. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ Gaudiosi, John (July 21, 2014). "Interview: Legendary designer Cliff Bleszinski discusses the future of free-to-play shooters". PC World. International Data Group. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ Alexander, Leigh (February 18, 2014). "With new perspective on life and games, Cliff Bleszinski plots next move". Gamasutra. UBM plc. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ Hsu, Dan (January 22, 2013). "Life after Epic: Getting to know Cliff Bleszinski (exclusive interview, part one: his past)". VentureBeat. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  5. ^ Bissel, Tom (November 3, 2008). "The Grammar of Fun. CliffyB and the world of the video game". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ Pitts, Russ (May 13, 2008). "Cliff Bleszinski: The Escapist Interview". The Escapist. Defy Media. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  7. ^ Modest Law (October 17, 2010). "Interview With Cliff Bleszinski". Royal Flush. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  8. ^ K. Ohnesorge, Lauren (September 25, 2014). "Exclusive: Q&A with the boss behind Boss Key Productions: Cliff Bleszinski". Triangle Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Digital Extremes – Unreal". Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  10. ^ Butts, Steve (April 12, 2010). "Gears Of War 3 On Jimmy Fallon". IGN. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  11. ^ Narcisse, Evan (April 13, 2010). "The Techland Interview: Cliff Bleszinski, Part 1". Techland Time. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  12. ^ Hoggings, Tom (September 19, 2011). "Gears of War 3 interview: Cliff Bleszinski". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  13. ^ Killingsworth, Jason (September 29, 2011). "Cliff Bleszinski interview". Edge. Future plc. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  14. ^ Epic Games (October 3, 2012). "Cliff Bleszinski Departs Epic". Epic Games Community. Epic Games. Retrieved November 21, 2012. 
  15. ^ Makuch, Eddie (October 3, 2012). "Cliff Bleszinski out at Epic Games". GameSpot. Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Twitter / therealcliffyb: I'm officially coming out of …". 2014-06-30. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  17. ^ Makuch, Eddie (July 3, 2014). "Gears of War Veteran Developer Cliff Bleszinski "Coming Out Of Retirement"". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  18. ^ Hsu, Dan (July 21, 2014). "Cliff Bleszinski on his retirement, returning, what he’s learned, and where he’s going from here (interview)". VentureBeat. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Campbell, Evan (July 8, 2014). "Gear of War Designer Cliff Bleszinski announces F2P shooter BlueStreak". IGN. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  20. ^ LeJacq, Yannick (July 8, 2014). "Cliff Bleszinski's Next Game Is A Free-To-Play Shooter". Kotaku. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  21. ^ Lahti, Evan (July 23, 2014). "Interview: Cliff Bleszinski on Project BlueStreak, PC gaming, FPS design, moddability". PC Gamer. Future plc. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  22. ^ Karmali, Luke (August 26, 2015). "Gears of War Creator Cliff Bleszinski Announces New Game LawBreakers". IGN. Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  23. ^ Burg, Dustin (November 7, 2006). "Interview: Tyler Bleszinski's GearHeads". Joystiq. AOL. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  24. ^ Kumpan, Sean (March 12, 2013). "EL337 Level: Interview with Lauren Bleszinski". PS Home Gazette. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  25. ^ The Grammar of Fun. New Yorker (2008-11-03). Retrieved on 2012-11-21.
  26. ^ Blog post on MTV Multiplayer. (2008-05-21). Retrieved on 2012-11-21.
  27. ^ "Twitter / therealcliffyb: And I'm not Jewish. I'm an Atheist". 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  28. ^ Gaudiosi, John (July 22, 2014). "From Gears to Beers: A Video Game Mogul Opens a Restaurant". Men's Journal. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  29. ^ Weigl, Andrea (17 July 2015). "Raleigh Beer Garden to open Tuesday". The News & Observer. The McClatchy Company. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z "Mobygames Developer BIO". Retrieved 2011-02-07. 
  31. ^ Brown, David (February 18, 2011). "Bulletstorm developer interview: Cliff Bleszinski". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  32. ^ Hall, Charlie (July 11, 2014). "Cliff Bleszinski's next game level is being made in Poland right now". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  33. ^ jgaudiosi (September 26, 2006). ""Stay Alive" Hits DVD". videogames.typepad. Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  34. ^ "WARREN SPECTOR TRIBUTE with Cliff Bleszinski". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  35. ^ "SAKAGUCHI'S FINAL FANTASY". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-03-06. 
  36. ^ "Sonic For Hire – Gears of War". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-01-05. 
  37. ^ "Class in session! Video Game High School 2 Ep. 1 is live". Destructoid. 2013-07-26. 
  38. ^ Makedonski, Brett (2014-03-25). "Cliffy B chooses you to die in this Pokemon rap". Destructoid. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  39. ^

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