It seems fitting that after the first bit of news relating to the Gears of War franchise dropped in quite a while, the man who helped make the franchise so successful has also resurfaced in the news. Cliff ‘Cliffy B’ Bleszinski made a name for himself with the help of Gears of War and despite not working on a new title since he left Epic Games two years ago, he has remained a vocal and popular member of the video game community. For the first time since his early ‘retirement,’ we finally have some insight on what is next for Bleszinski.
Bleszinski took to Twitter earlier this week to announce that he will soon be coming out of retirement to make video games again. His 223 thousand followers helped spread the word that within the next week details would be announced about his return. The seven day countdown (which Bleszinski actually has a website tracking) isn’t quite over yet, but some details being reported by Polygon may have broken the story a few days early.
Polygon’s story reveals that Bleszinski filed a report for a new business with the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State back in April 2014. The documentation lists Bleszinski as CEO of Boss Key Productions. The paperwork goes on to confirm EA producer and Guerrilla Games (Killzone developer) co-founder Arjan Brussee as the COO and only other current officer.
Brussee’s current LinkedIn page doesn’t confirm the position and still has the developer listed as an executive producer at Visceral Games. That said, Brussee and Bleszinski have worked together before, while co-developing the Jazz Jackrabbit series, so the partnership does seem likely. We suspect that Brussee is waiting until the official announcement before updating his resume.
Documentation filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on May 30 confirms the business information about Boss Key Productions and also offers some details about the studio’s goods and services…
“… downloadable multi-player interactive computer game programs; computer and video game software; downloadable computer and video game software; downloadable electronic games via the Internet and wireless devices; downloadable computer application software in the field of games; interactive computer and video game programs.”
Some classic Gears of War fans may be disappointed that the listing focuses so heavily on online games, without any mention of console software, but we wouldn’t rush to that conclusion just yet. Bleszinski has gone on record in the past about his interest in concentrating on PC gaming, but if the studio develops a big enough title, it seems possible that a console port will be in the cards.
The Boss Key website also recently launched, but doesn’t offer much information aside from a logo tease and a few links to Twitter accounts. One of the links is to a Project Bluestreak account, which doesn’t have any activity yet. Speculation is that Bluestreak is either the codename or official name of the studio’s first project.
Bleszinski wasn’t ready to confirm any details during yesterday’s American holiday, but he did offer the following tongue-in-cheek response to Polygon when the site contacted him for a comment on Boss Key:
“I do not comment on rumors and speculation on the birthday of the nation that could allow a game designer to have a fantastic 20 year run at his first studio and then take nearly two years off only to seek out funding and start his new lean, agile, fun startup in Raleigh, N.C.”
If that isn’t enough unofficial confirmation for you, Bleszinski later retweeted Boss Key’s tweet, “Soon.” Check back early next week for the official word on Boss Key, Bluestreak, and Bleszinski’s next project.
What kind of game would you like to see Bleszinski’s new studio develop? Do you think sticking to PC gaming is a wise move for the team? Let us know in the comments.
Follow Denny on Twitter @The_DFC.