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Cliff Bleszinski Says This Is Why His Games Failed

Cliff Bleszinski — better known to some as CliffyB — has historically been one of the most outspoken voices in gaming. As the game designer behind the ravingly successful Gears of War franchise, he was lauded as an enviable success story... until his games started flopping hard. What happened?


CliffyB is blaming his outspoken nature as the culprit behind the failure of Lawbreakers, in particular.

Bleszinski co-founded Boss Key Productions, a studio that went on to create the first person arena shooter, Lawbreakers. The game launched in 2017 and never really found its footing. At the time, Bleszinski blamed negative media coverage for the game's miniscule player base. Now, however, he thinks his personal politics killed Lawbreakers, and by extension, Boss Key Productions. 

Bleszinski posted on Instagram today, saying that he was trying to figure out what he could have done differently. He came to the conclusion that his own name and ideology may have tainted the studio.

Was CliffyB too woke for gaming?

In the post, Bleszinski claims that coverage for his games became more about his being a "woke bro" rather than the games themselves.

"Instead of 'these characters seem fun' it was 'this is the studio with the CEO who refuses to make his female characters sexier'," Bleszinski said.


He thinks that he should have saved his "wokeness" for when the studio was more established. This line of thinking is apparently going to be a "doozy" of a chapter in his upcoming memoir.

Was CliffyB too woke for gaming? According to current public sentiment, he's the only one who feels this way. After this post, people replied that he should own his failures rather than blaming gamers who, according to him, care about how sexy the armored female characters are.

"No one talked about the politics of the game," reads one reply. "They talked about how it wasn't unique and too similar to existing games. It was a flawed game in terms of design and mechanics. Own that." 

Even Boss Key co-founder Arjan Brussee admitted that Lawbreakers was probably too hardcore and user-unfriendly to be a success at first. He said this and the studio's lack of manpower were the more likely culprits of Lawbreakers' struggles. He never said anything about it being too "woke." Only CliffyB seems to be ruminating on the past and his own wokeness.