Yesterday, Cliff Bleszinski took to Reddit to talk about his new gaming project, Blue Streak. The man famous for Gears of War, Unreal and Jazz Jackrabbit has started a new company in order to make Blue Streak.
Boss Key Games is his startup, and one Redditor asked Bleszinski what’s been nerve-wracking about that whole thing. Here’s how he responded.
It’s pretty sobering to be the one staring at the bank account and knowing that every month it’s going to chip, chip away until you manage to make a profit somehow.
As someone who’s flirted with starting a business once or twice in my lifetime so far, I totally get this notion. Starting out is terrifying, especially if you’re using your own money to do it. The pot that pays for your mortgage, food, insurance, car payments, utilities, etc… to watch that shrink while waiting for something to succeed (IF it succeeds), sounds terrifying.
Bleszinski went on:
FUNFACT: I’m taking a salary of 1$ a year until we can turn a profit.
That bit? That bit I really can’t relate to. Bleszinski is coming off of a two-year mid-career retirement from games. He seems like an exceptionally smart guy, and there’s no way he takes that retirement without a steady stream of income in the form of royalties and returning investments. No way.
The notion that this $1 salary will break him? I don’t buy it.
But, hey, what do I know? Bleszinski might not have received a severance package from Epic. He might not earn royalties on the still selling Gears of War titles, and the same could go for Unreal. He might not have saved money or invested it. He might be stone broke. I don’t know.
Someone asked him if he’s “as rich as people think.” His answer? “I do aight.”
He’ll probably be “aight” with $1 a year for a while, too.