Cliff Blezinski, former head of Epic Games and known for the Gears of War series, has opened up recently to IGN about why he left the company. During their podcast Unfiltered, he stated how it was a very simple thing that led him to leaving:
“It’s simple: a big Chinese company comes along and I had a chunk of ownership at Epic and they buy out 40 percent of it without any strings attached.”
This was compounded though by the fact that many at Epic thought that Gears of War “was a fluke”.
“Epic at the time, and I say this very carefully because they’ve really kind of changed into their own entity…. But at the time there was this whole like ‘Gears was kind of a fluke,’ you know, and I could pitch any idea to the company and inevitably I’d have somebody in my office going ‘I don’t buy it.'”
This lead to much frustration for Blezinski, so much so that after the buyout he did not return to work for some time. Eventually, Tim Sweeney of Epic Games told him he needed to either return to work, or leave the company. The next day he handed in his resignation.
Now, Blezinski is back in games as the co-founder of Boss Key Productions. Where he seems to be very happy.