The industry is in turmoil, says Clifford Bleszinski

2 min read


Jazz Jackrabbit and Gears of War designer Clifford Bleszinski is currently in semi-retirement after leaving Epic Games. One of the more outspoken game developers, he says he’s not about to jump back in the games game until the industry – which he says is in turmoil – has more answers about the future.

“This business has not been in a state of transition like it is right now since the video game crash of the ’80s,” Bleszinski told GamesIndustry.

“I really think we’re in a massive state of turmoil. I think Nintendo could possibly be faced with the situation of becoming a company that only makes software moving forward. I think Sony and Microsoft are about to come to major blows. But at the same time, people love playing games on their iPad. The PC is going through a wonderful renaissance right now. I think we’re ready to do digital download games all the time…I just want to see what happens.”

I don’t agree with CliffyB all too often, but what the things he’d like from the future, as far as consoles go, are the things that make the PC a great platform, and would be more than welcomed in consoles. He wants quick and easy patches, support for mods, and more indie games.

“When Gears of War 2 launched and we found out that our netcode wasn’t working right, it took us three months to get an update out,” Bleszinski said. “By that time, the majority of users had moved on to the next game or had traded it in. If Microsoft and Sony are to do well in this next generation, they are going to need to reduce that time as much as possible, as well as continue to enable user-supported mods, independent games, and really just get rid of the wall that makes it incredibly hard to find those products, even if they’re allowed on the console… All that red tape needs to be stripped away in order to create an ecosystem to allow for a product like Minecraft to actually happen on a console.”

What do you think? Is Nintendo on its way to being the next SEGA? Is the industry about to crash again?

Last Updated: February 26, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Sir Captain Rincethis

    I agree with him, and Geoff, that one sentence has permanently burnt a hole in my mind!

    • AndriyP

      I say let it burn then out of the ashes a new generation will rise up, at least my kids will have something decent to play

      • Sir Captain Rincethis

        Agreed. The corporations need to get the fuck out of gaming, and back into their usual spheres.

        • Sentient_Slug

          So that you can play angry birds in space on your PS4? i just dont understand. it makes no sense! gamers cry because the PC has more
          functionality etc etc and consoles are shit, but then a price of like 6k
          is hinted at and they dont want to pay that much? i dont get it. i guess im just
          saying that gamers moan too much, a little like im doing now i guess! we are praising android here as this open platform, and that consoles need to watch out because people like playing their games on their ipads etc, but those devices cost an absolute fortune!!! for angry birds!??
          lets just face it, gamers dont want consoles to accommodate the INDEPENDENT games, they want really GOOD games reallyCHEAP, they dont
          actually give a toss where they come from, which is nonsense. iv enjoyed my Playstation thoroughly. if i wanted all the functionality of a PC id buy a friggin PC. a console that does what a PC does is A PC. thanks for the vent dude1 please dont take it too personally, just something to think about.

          • Sir Captain Rincethis

            how can I take your cent personally? I don’t understand what you were trying to say! I said nothing about PC, or Angry Birds etc etc. I said I agree with Cliffy B that the gaming industry is on a dodgy path. But now you mention Angry Birds, a perfect example. It WAS an indie game, that turned CORPKRATION when it started to sell Angry Bird pillows, underpants, oh and Amgry Birds Star Wars. I mean, wtf! I will pay good money for games like LA Noir, not for COD which couldn’t be more corp if you tried. So no offence taken!:)

          • Sentient_Slug

            Sorry man i was PMSing hardcore yesterday…. obviously a bad day….

          • Sir Captain Rincethis

            hehe, no worries 🙂

      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        Planning a family are we? 😛

        • FoxOneZA

          LOLz 😛

        • AndriyP

          Lulz just saying 😛

          • Admiral Chief Erwin

            Something to share?

          • JayDiCee

            Is someone late this month?

  • Deon Steyn

    Maybe Cliffy should shut his noise hole for once. Just because he’s not the life of the party any more doesn’t mean he can spoil it for us. Gaming will survive with or without him.

    • JHN

      I agree completely he is the exact description of the kid in school always moaning that you want to punch in the face.

      • CypherGate

        I guess he wants to be the next Pachter…

  • I suppose it really must be in peril for when I read “Jazz Jackrabbit and Gears of War designer …” I suddenly felt this strong desire to play Jazz Jackrabbit again…

  • HvR

    “…but what the things he’d like from the future, as far as consoles go,
    are the things that make the PC a great platform, and would be more than
    welcomed in consoles….” so you will sign a petition for mouse and keyboard support for Xbox720 for FPS?

  • FoxOneZA

    “The PC is going through a wonderful renaissance right now” << That right there!

    • Sentient_Slug

      i didnt fully understand that comment at all…. AT ALL.

  • FoxOneZA

    This is where Android in particular sets itself from the norm by breaking down walls. That Ouya is looking more desirable.

  • PsiCoRe

    Industry has it ass backwards as usual. Microsoft are trying to make PC’s like tablets and not vice versa. Console manufacturers want their devices to be like home servers but are locking them down instead of opening them up and thereby adding increased functionality and customization, not reducing it. Powerful low wattage gaming computers are becoming cheaper and will become a threat to consoles as they become sleeker, easier to use and more functional. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo need to wake up.

    • Sentient_Slug

      Disagree i think they have produced amazing Playstations have all entertained the eff out of me!

      • PsiCoRe

        So what does your 8 core monster do other than play games and watch movies? You could be doing a hell of a lot more with it imo.

        • Sentient_Slug

          absolutely but i think the idea is to over power them now so that in 5/6 ears time they can still handle games smoothly without having to worry about an upgrade (even though we know the graphics don’t quite match up). Sure the more it can do the better but it must always prioritize gaming in the biggest way. I just have really enjoyed the experience on mine. nothing against the PC gamer, i have one of those too, MUCH more powerful, massive graphics card, yet i find myself gaming exclusively on the PS3. But to be fair i’m obviously just a simple consumer, cant speak for everyone.

  • OVG

    They all want Apple Pie and forgot what they ate before we let them into our homes, the ungrateful street urchines.


  • Sentient_Slug

    IM SICK AND TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT HOW THE INDUSTRY IS IN TURMOIL. its in turmoil yet we continue to have amazing titles released, we are all still loving our little hobby, if Nintendo goes another will capitalize on the opening. and grief Im also tired of hearing how people loooove playing games on their ipad… A EFFING talking cat and angry birds are NOT what gaming is about. the day that i walk into Macro and there is no gaming console on sale and developers have stopped developing, then i’l worry, but i think there is HONESTLY more chance of the zombie apocalypse. GAMING is better than ever, the market is just too big.

  • Sentient_Slug

    ALSO indie games are cool, but they don not define the market…. we all cry for indie games until we are landed with bullshit side projects flooding the market and the standard of hardcore gaming takes a massive dive. Then we will really begin debating why games of high quality are no longer developed.

    • surely you can’t be blaming indie games for loss of quality in ‘Hardcore’ games

      • Sentient_Slug

        No no not at all! i personally dont think there is a lack of quality at all! i think games are getting better and better. im just saying im tired of haring this cry for indie games, it makes no sense! im saying if it were the case that this indie revolution occurred, people would be crying out for better mainstream games probably. its just tiring. gamers cry because the PC has more functionality etc etc and consoles are shit, but then a price of like 6k is hinted at and they dont want to pay that much. i guess im just saying that gamers moan too much, a little like im doing now i guess! lets just face it, gamers dont want consoles to accommodate the independent games, they want really good games really cheap, they dont actually give a toss where they come from.

        • lol yeah indeed, it’s a never ending wave of complaints. I think the cry for Indies is just because of the lack of creativity or originality in games, don’t get me wrong AAA games are great but some times you just want a bit of something different

  • I don’t think Nintento will become the next SEGA nor will the Industry crash but, there is trouble . I mean, if lay offs are hitting EA…E freaking A … you know there’s trouble…companies themselves are losing focus and creativity is dwindling…not to say we don’t have amazing games but the industry is just in a state of limbo.

  • JayDiCee

    At the moment, I think gaming is headed the way of the movies…. MOST of the great IPs have already been made, and now developers play it safe by making clones, sequels and prequels of the already tried and tested sure successes, hoping to milk franchises. That is why gaming is in a ditch… If developers had BALLS, like Quantic Dream and Sucker punch and a few others to bring forth new ideas and IPs things may go better… They need BALLS

    • Sentient_Slug

      Is gaming really in a ditch? i think the industry is improving, games are getting better. i love game sequels, sure not all of them but that is life. imagine if NO game sequels were made dude, sis.

      • CodeScarwls

        I have to agree with both of you.

        Games are getting better. in the sense of play ability and platform. (Most of them anyway)

        But most of the games are going in the same direction, trying to do the same thing.
        Trying to be safe. Example the new Aliens game. Where they tried to make it COD style game.

        But there is hope. If you look at the game people want to make on KickStarter.
        Its games people want and publisher are to scared to make.

  • OVG

    HEADER FAIL… No it did, it failed…


  • I always wonder why everyone ignores the elephant in the room until Cliffy B points it out.

    Also, the problem is much larger than just Nintendo. Jim Sterling of Destructoid constantly points out some of the inconsistent practices. Half finished games that aggressively sell pre-orders only to completely dissapoint, day 1 DLC that adds nothing to the game and even worse 3 month DLC that is effectively a costume pack. Half finished PC games. And now free to play being introduced to triple A titles.

    All of this adds up to unhappy consumers, who will seriously consider spending the 500-800 bucks on a game, when they get almost no benefit. Especially with companies like Ubisoft that treat the paying customers like criminals.

  • Tbone187

    Unfortunately , the industry isn’t driven by hardcore gamers but rather the casual folk that prefer these watered down games on tablets…

    Just as the appreciation for the technical prowess of jazz music succumbed to derivatives like mediocre and simple pop music that satisfies the average Joe these days…

    Sure, there’ll always be demand for high end games so I don’t reckon the industry will crumble all together. Just don’t expect huge growth…

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