Cliff Bleszinski has moved on, and not just from Epic Games, which he left a year and a half ago. He’s moved on from consoles. In 2008, as Gears of War 2 was about to launch, he said that it would never come to PC, that it was a platform in disarray, that the future was consoles all the way. “PC is where I’m going to wind up,” he says now.
Of course, PC gaming now couldn’t be further away from its 2008 state. All anyone could talk about was piracy and how consoles had all the AAA goodies. Now we’re in the midst of an indie renaissance, crowd-funded labours of love and communities growing around developing games. Bleszinski is moving with the times.
“PC is where I’m going to wind up. That’s where the community is,” he says in an interview with Gamasutra. “The trend will always be the core. If I start a studio, I want a community manager there day one. I want weekly video or podcasts; I want task lists available on the subreddit. When my wife and I play Rust, before we play, we check the subreddit. Whenever you get a little bored with a game, someone issues an update. I feel like a game developer again, where I get to check out the build list.”
Where once Bleszinski created games that lined shelves in major retailers, games that appeared on magazine covers and drew people into brick and mortar stores, now he’s given up on physical media and big exclusive reveals.
He wants to foster communities and bring them into the development process. “I want to get back to the point where I go to PAX, and a couple comes up to us and tells us that they met in a game that my team made. Cosplayers. Kids with tattoos. That sense of camraderie with developers. That’s where I want to get back to.”
A couple of months ago, Bleszinski revealed his interest in making an arena shooter for PC, saying that it was in his DNA. He wanted it to be a “PC experience that will hearken back to a certain type of game that we cut our teeth on.”