Submitted by jagiii 868d ago | interview

Cliff Bleszinski Believes AAA Games Are Taking Less Risks

When it comes to the video game industry, Cliff Bleszinski is someone that most everyone knows thanks to the amazing success of Gears of War. For most of the two decades he worked at Epic Games, he spent a lot of time as the face of the company, especially as Design Director. Now temporarily retired, Bleszinski is recharging his creative battery and enjoying life in North Carolina. (BioShock: Infinite, Cliff Bleszinski, Epic Games, Portal, PS3, Xbox 360)

gamerlive  +   868d ago
I'm looking forward to seeing what Cliff does next.
Godmars290  +   868d ago
So that it may be mocked for this article when it doesn't take any chances? Is nothing but a profanity laced Gears clone?
HammadTheBeast  +   868d ago
lol the irony of this coming from him.
omi25p  +   868d ago
Can i borrow your crystal ball i want to know what to choose in the lottery.

Gears of War 1 took risks. It was one of the first new ips this generation and it showed everyone how to design a Third person shooter with a cover system. Then he made 2 sequels.

Who knows what the next ip will be
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Godmars290  +   868d ago
How about looking at how Gears 1 took the chance of being a survival horror, at least used those elements, and the sequels degraded into run - cover - and guns? Instead of furthering an idea, he and Epic fell back to what was safe.

And the same mistake with Molyneux and Carmack happen: after either doing nothing or the same thing for years, people expected them to come up with fresh ideas. They didn't. And Bleszinski been more of a mouth piece than he's been a game maker.

At the very least his fans should keep an open mind in regards to anything new he does instead of mindlessly defending it. Especially if its bad.
Septic  +   868d ago
What about Horde mode or Beast mode? How many games have copied the former idea? What about Unreal Tournament?

How about Unreal Championship, that melded first and third person perspectives together?
Godmars290  +   868d ago
You're missing the point why there are too many FPS games is that there are too many FPS games. Its a "not seeing the forest for the trees" problem.
BlmThug  +   868d ago
Is it the hipster thing on N4G to hate on Cliff? The man has contributed in a positive way to the gaming community despite the hate for him
3-4-5  +   868d ago
It is their own fault ( companies / dev's )...

Instead of spending $70 million on one game, spend $20 million each and give us 3 games.
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Tzuno  +   868d ago
He transforms in the next Michael Pachter.
DaThreats  +   868d ago
Well next game you are working on, I expect you to take risks.
Root  +   868d ago
Oh because Gears of War 3 took so much risk /s
Eyeco  +   868d ago
Yeah I was thinking the exact same thing, he has somewhat of a point tho it's just really ironic considering this is the guy behind Unreal, and Gears the latter's recent release has been criticised for being same old.
asyouburn  +   868d ago
But in his defense, he wasn't making gears himself, he was making it for epic. I would assume they have ultimate control over which direction the game takes. Hopefully his next game does take risks and stands out from the safe "gritty shooter" box it's so firmly planted in
MikeMyers  +   868d ago
From the article:
"Games are starting to solve all of that, but with AAA games we’re seeing less risk due to the fact that there’s a lot of money involved."

This is true. Perhaps Cliff left Epic because he grew tired of the franchise and wants to do new things? It's probably why Bungie left because they were likely told to keep making Halo. Insomniac probably went independent because they wanted to create a new IP and one that they have full control on.

That is where the innovation and new ideas will come from the most, independent developers. When you have a hit game they will always want you to make more of them. Be it Gears, Halo or God of War.

When you invest 10's of millions of dollars they want as few risks as possible. That's another reason why we see so many reboots. They can take an existing IP and try and create a new franchise out of it because the name still holds value. Halo Wars would likely not have sold as well as it did if not for the Halo attached to it. Put Star Wars on anything and it will sell.

The new battle ground will be the smaller scale titles like The Witness.
NYC_Gamer  +   868d ago
I hope his next project takes risk instead of being just another shooter
nevin1  +   868d ago
I wouldnt be surpised if we see even more casual games vs core.
xBigxBossx  +   868d ago
Lot of hatred for the guy on n4g. Does he come off as a dooshe sometimes? Yes. But he is right, can you imagine being at Ken Levines board room pitch for Infinite?? Ok people I want to make a game dealing with racism, politics, ad religion! Everything you don't ever discuss at the dinner table!
Heisenburger  +   868d ago
But he made it.... I am afraid that i don't understand your point.
xBigxBossx  +   868d ago
The point is he is the first person to go there. You can like it or hate it, but this is a buisness industry. He had to pitch this game to suits who I'm sure weren't all for throwing stones at interracial couples. I'm happy to see someone trying to advance out medium that for the past few years has just been a rinse and repeat clone Fest.
pythonxz  +   868d ago
The thing I like about Ken Levine is that no subject is in the 'Ivory Tower' to him. By the way, I'm surprised he never described it that way, since it is logical fallacy.
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andreasx  +   868d ago
Agreed, thats why we are seeing less and less innovative games because a lot of devs take the safe route. That's why most games are "CODified" nowadays.
Ezz2013  +   868d ago
that's really true and sad
but at least we still have
the last of us(new ip)
,beyond(new ip)
,watch dogs(new ip)
,bioshock Infinite(awesome game)
those games are taking risks and trying new things

let's hope more Dev do the same
and start taking more risks and also make new ips
#7.1 (Edited 868d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Rampaged Death  +   868d ago
Agree with Cliffy. Too many sequels and not enough innovation. I hope Cliffy develops the survival horror that he was rumoured to be developing.
Erudito87  +   868d ago
just because other devs aren't adding chainsaws to their weapons doesn't make that true
refocusedman  +   868d ago
More game making and less talking from u Cliffy B!!
Drainage  +   868d ago
he doesnt believe, he knows
badvlad  +   868d ago
I bet he would start to cry if you slapped him once
GetSnooked  +   868d ago
I bet you wouldn't say that to him in person if you weren't cowering behind your monitor.
jc48573  +   868d ago
I remember a generation where developers took risks most of the time.
Human Analog  +   868d ago
If the gamers demanded quality, and innovation we would see more of it. But if you can churn out sequels and everybody buys them, then what is the risk / reward of trying something new?

As consumers we say one thing, and do another. As long as that dichotomy exists so will mediocrity.
TheUndertaker85  +   868d ago
So you're saying sequels can't bring innovation?

Can't innovate an innovation or what? Can't raise the stakes just because its not a whole new title?
bluetoto  +   868d ago
There are PLENTY of sequels that innovate and improve upon their quality from the their previous version and new titles that have ZERO innovation so there is a flaw in your logic.
Human Analog  +   867d ago
I was trying to not call out franchises, but here we go. COD, Battlefield, Halo, Gear of War, Crysis, Mass Effect.... and so on. I have played and enjoyed some of these, and I hate others. But the fact remains the same as I said. We as consumers don't reward innovation. We like comfort.

Gears one broke new ground, but what did it do for us in the other two iterations? The same goes with Halo, and all the COD/Battlefield games. Multiplayer and online gaming innovation, and then just years of milking a name.

Sequels by nature can't innovate too much beyond the first one or else they could loose the core audience. People don't like change. Can you or anyone else name franchises that broke significant ground after what was considered their innovation?

My reply was only to agree with the article, and point out that innovation does not come out of the gaming culture we have at this time. Most people just don't want to drop $60 on an unknown.

I don't agree that every thing needs to be special, but, why is it that a company can invest millions of dollars and only come out with black ops 2?
TheUndertaker85  +   867d ago
I dunno but your flaw is that BO2 isn't a second game nor even a third. It's actually the 9th title in the series. Plus people didn't call the first game "innovative". Nobody started that till 4. Meaning innovation happened to a larger extent between titles 1 and 4 with mediocre innovation happening post 4.

Was God of War 2 not better than the first? Is that not innovation?
Did Grand Theft Auto not do anything innovative after the first title?
Isn't Assassin's Creed 2 noted by most of the masses as being widely more acceptable than Assassin's Creed?

Innovation doesn't have to be huge nor new. Innovation is bringing something to the table that wasn't there before. So by logic, innovation happens with even simple control scheme changes to make the game flow better or in a way it didn't in previous entries.
Human Analog  +   866d ago
Well if to you innovation is the next consecutive number, or changing the jump button from "A" to "X".... Then you sir are part of the problem. The main thing he is hitting upon is taking risks and pushing the boundaries of what is expected. But if a new control configuration is all you expect, then that is all you will get. And then we all suffer.

Well, I am out of bubbles. I guess you only have one more chance to reply too. I lost mine arguing the pros/cons of GT5 vs Forza. That is a real cutthroat group of people, I'll tell you. I lost them just for disagreeing. I'm out!
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Kenshin_BATT0USAI  +   868d ago
I agree with what he's saying, but...well, he isn't the guy who should be saying it frankly.
e-p-ayeaH  +   868d ago
What an hypocrite do something about it before you talk
Conzul  +   868d ago
FFS, it's FEWER, not less! FEWER RISKS.
Go back to school.
mochachino  +   868d ago
He made the same game 3 times this gen and took no risks in either gameplay or narrative. Gears 1 was a big risk but after that, no risk were made.
ijust2good  +   868d ago
This man continues to open his mouth. Since he left the industry, he has been an even bigger attention seeker.

This guy only created one good and memorable game that was Gears 1 and the rest of the follow ups were terrible, talking about a fluke. He thinks he can fix other games. He needs to go to school of Kojima's game development and attend mr Kojima's lecture to really appreciate creation of games.

Cliffy b, shut up. You haven't created a good game for years. U keep claiming to be able to fix other franchises but u have failed to fix ur own Gears franchise that has become irrelevant since Gears 2.
isarai  +   867d ago
Not huge fan of the Gears series, but i really admire Cliff as a developer for his outlook and philosophy on games, not to mention his outspoken nature. I would like to see what he would do if given the freedom to make whatever he wanted.
trenso1  +   866d ago
every time i read a statement from this guy i dislike him even more, since gears 3 didnt take any risks i expect the next game he makes to be a high risk game

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