In a news update on Epic Games' official site, design director Cliff Bleszinski announced his split from the studio (opens in new tab) after 20 years shaping venerable franchises such as Unreal, Jazz Jackrabbit, and Gears of War.
"I've been doing this since I was a teenager, and outside of my sabbatical last year, I have been going non-stop," Bleszinski wrote in a farewell note. "I literally grew up in this business. 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."
Bleszinski had recently been promoting the PC as a beacon of gaming and development prowess, encouraging indie designers to embrace the PC's open-ended appeal (opens in new tab) and confirming the PC-exclusive Fortnite as the first game using the Unreal Engine 4 (opens in new tab) .
Bleszinski's future plans beyond the aforementioned break aren't known, but I'm conducting a Shock Rifle salute to send him off into his future endeavors.