Gears 5 (opens in new tab) multiplayer design director Ryan Cleven has left The Coalition after six years, citing "personal issues". The Twitter announcement (opens in new tab) comes after the recent addition of a new Gridiron mode to the game, a 5v5 take on capture-the-flag.
I hope you're enjoying Operation 3: Gridiron. It's been my favourite to work on and is closer to how I wished we'd launched. It's also my last with TC & Gears. Due to personal issues, I'll be going on sabbatical indefinitely. Thanks for joining me on this journey. See you online. pic.twitter.com/j8uev2RBOSMarch 31, 2020
"I hope you are enjoying Gridiron," Cleven wrote on Twitter. "It's my favourite Gears experience to date, and it will also be my last with the Coalition. I am taking an extended sabbatical. When I return, it won't be to gears."
"The last six years have been amazing. Gears 4 and 5 have been the highlight of my development career, but those six years have also taken a toll. Due to personal issues, I can't continue to work the way that I have, I need time for myself. With the departure of my mentor, Rod Fergusson, it's given me an opportunity to reevaluate my priorities. While I will forever miss Gears, it's time to pass the torch."
Former The Coalition studio head and Gears veteran Rod Fergusson left the studio in February (opens in new tab) to work on Diablo at Blizzard. The departure follows the release of Gears 5 in late 2019, which was well-received. "A polished and surprisingly varied campaign married to stalwart PvE and PvP modes which gently refine the classic Gears experience," Phil wrote in his review (opens in new tab).