Cliff_Bleszinski01Another luminary leaves the world of games, at least for now.

Epic Games’ Cliff Bleszinski announced today via the Epic Games blog that he, like Bioware’s Doctors Muzyka and Zeschuk, is leaving the company he helped propel into the top tier of game developers.

As a designer with Epic, Bleszinski has had a hand in everything from Jazz Jackrabbit up through Gears of War. Without the Unreal Engine that came from games Bleszinski helped make, gaming would likely be a very different place.

Bleszinski’s note to his co-workers was included in the news post:

I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager, and outside of my sabbatical last year, I have been going non-stop. I literally grew up in this business, as Mike likes to say. And now that I’m grown up, it’s time for a much needed break.

I will miss the projects, the playtests, the debates, and most importantly, the people. Epic only hires the best of the best, and it has been a joy working with each and every one of you on a daily basis, whether you were hired weeks ago or decades ago. I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with a variety of disciplines, from code to art to marketing and PR – it’s been one big, rewarding learning experience. I’m confident that each project that is being built, whether at Epic, Chair, PCF, or Impossible will be top notch and will please gamers and critics alike.

Unlike the Doctors, Cliff isn’t clear about where he’s going, other than to take a break. And he says just that: this is a break. It’s not clear yet whether he’ll come back to Epic or start up something new, but it sounds like CliffyB isn’t done with games just yet. Maybe he’ll set some new high scores.

After the last 6 years of Gears games, I’ve been looking forward to seeing what Bleszinski has up his sleeve, so it’s sad to see him go just when things are opening back up. Fortnite will surely show some of his hand in the final product, and who knows what else Epic has in development?

We’ll miss you, man. Come back soon.

[via Epic Games Blog]