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Cliff Bleszinski takes a break from games to talk Kickstarter, blogging, and what's next

John Gaudiosi | April 30, 2013
Cliff Bleszinski is taking a break from game development, but he's certainly not leaving the industry. With his days as design director at Epic Games behind him, the man who helped introduce Gears of War and the cover system to gaming is thinking about his next project and talking to publishers who can help him bring a transmedia universe to life.

I also think I have the ability to speak up and make counterpoints, because gamers loves dogpiling on anything that they deem to be bad--like the whole "EA is evil" thing. I had to speak up because, no, EA is not evil. EA is a business. EA just happens to package their products in a manner where it feels like players are paying a late registration fee as opposed to an early registration discount.

And then you see Peter Moore, who's the most stand-up guy in the industry, make a statement that basically says "Look, we're not perfect. We're learning." I think this Internet bullying thing is really out of control; look at the whole Adam Orth thing and his comments about a potentially always online system. It's like it's fun to try and get a guy fired.

Like you never talked shit on Twitter? You've never said anything inappropriate? It doesn't matter if someone represents a company; we all screw up.

You've been involved with Hollywood when it came to trying to get the Gears of War movie made, and the buzz in the industry is all about transmedia. How important is it to have a single game versus an intellectual property that can transcend games, movies, television and comics?

CB:  Now it's more important than ever, because when you look at the AAA Hollywood space--I'm not talking about indie films here--look at Pacific Rim. I guarantee that was developed with a game and a toy line in mind. Forget about the potential products and the money you can make off of any single product; now it's all about mindshare.

Now, more than ever, you have more and more things vying for your attention. It's insane. Am I going to go watch a movie, am I going to play a game, am I going to tweet on Twitter, am I going to be on my iPad? Am I just sitting there talking about Game of Thrones in forums for days or talking about my theories behind Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite? There are so many more possibilities, so it's more important now to have that kind of cross-platform experience.

That's why some of the publishers I've been talking to are the larger ones who can leverage that sort of thing. For example, you know EA was working on Dragon Age Redemption before Dragon Age 2 came out because it helps keep that mindshare and keeps fans in your universe. I said at PAX East that video games are like a religion; you want to get people tattooing your little logo on their body so they're going to get somebody else interested in it too.


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