Bleszinski is staying very busy.
By Eddie Makuch on
Cliff Bleszinski is one of gaming’s biggest and most recognizable names. He created and designed the massively popular Gears of War franchise while at Epic Games. After some time away, he set up a brand-new studio, Boss Key. The North Carolina studio would go on to release LawBreakers and the battle royale game Radical Heights. Both titles failed to capture a sizable audience, and Boss Key would go on to shut down. After that, Bleszinski said he would probably never make another game for a number of reasons.
What’s Bleszinski up to now?
In a post on Facebook, Bleszinski said his life currently feels like that part of a role-playing game where the big world finally opens up and he can do whatever he wants after toiling for so long. “I’ll never forget that it was games and the wonderful fans of my work that bought me this freedom and I’ll be forever grateful for that,” he said.
Instead of working on more games, Bleszinski has turned his attention in part to another one of his passions: theatre. He was an investor/producer for the play Hadestown, which won eight Tony awards, including Best Musical. Bleszinski said that recognition was a “much-needed victory” after his game studio, Boss Key, “cratered” in his words.
After finding success with Hadestown, Bleszinski was approached to co-produce another Broadway play, a new version of Terrence McNally’s “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.” The new version stars two-time Oscar nominee Michael Shannon and Audra McDonald.
The limited run began in May and comes to an end in August. Bleszinski has his name in the playbill, which he said is “thrilling.”
Outside of his work in theatre, Bleszinski is still working on getting a publisher for his memoir. He said he recently took meetings in New York City with unnamed publishers, noting that he’s getting close to signing a deal. “We’re in mid-negotiation for a deal for that.”
Bleszinski said the memoir is being positioned as “Kitchen Confidential” for the gaming industry. Kitchen Confidential was the late Anthony Bourdain’s breakout writing about what happens behind-the-scenes in professional kitchens.
Bleszinski is also involved in the restaurant business, having invested in The Raleigh Beer Garden and The Station in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“Make no mistake, though, games will always be my first love,” Bleszinski said.
Bleszinski was able to “retire” earlier than most in part because his career and investments in gaming and technology have proven to be lucrative. He saw a massive payday when Chinese internet giant Tencent bought shares in Epic. He also also an early investor in Oculus, and made a “very sizable chunk of money” when Facebook bought the virtual reality company.
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