Clifford Bleszinski occupies an odd space in the games industry at the moment. The artist formerly known as Cliffy B is a big-budget director of substantial talent who’s worked on some best-in-class titles and is still relatively young, but breaking off from Epic Games and setting up on his own didn’t go quite as planned: LawBreakers was great, but didn’t sell, while Radical Heights was a hail Mary that didn’t quite come off either. Since those two misfires Bleszinski has become something of a social media soapboxer and, judging by how he’s been angling for a consultancy role on the next Gears, is looking for his way back into games.
One possible route, which Bleszinski has been touting for a while now, is a revival of LawBreakers. He’s also sending rather mixed messages about it, saying only last month that Korean giant Nexon owns the rights and he’s “kinda over the whole making games thing” anyway. But wait!
Update:My friend who has his own studio and is interested in a revival of LawBreakers has my LA lawyer on retainer to negotiate with Nexon for it.Stay tuned.May 19, 2023
The “friend” being referred to here may well be Justin Roiland, co-creator of Rick & Morty and founder of Squanch Games (based in California), who also apparently acquired the rights to Radical Heights when Bleszinski’s Boss Key Productions closed its doors. Roiland had a voice role in LawBreakers and is apparently a good pal of Bleszinski, though a Radical Heights revival is probably the only thing more unlikely than a LawBreakers comeback.
As well as LawBreakers, after a few vodka sodas Bleszinski lamented the fate of one of Boss Key Productions’ unmade games. A recent rumour suggests that Microsoft is looking to somehow bring back Scalebound, the Hideki Kamiya directed action game from Platinum that was cancelled in January 2017. As unlikely as that may seem, the idea had Bleszinski reminiscing about a game called Dragonflies and Microsoft’s refusal to back it.
“STFU Microsoft might be reviving Scalebound after they turned down DragonFlies?!” wrote Bleszinksi. “Man. People wonder why I have zero desire to make another game any time soon. And yes, I’ve had a two vodka sodas, but I’m in zero fucks mode these days.”
Bleszinki has previously described Dragonflies as a game where you played “ninja/samurai in airships riding dragons fighting zombies with friends in a PVE ‘feudalpunk’ setting on floating islands”. You were supposed to hatch your dragons and raise them, which all sounds pretty amazing, but bear in mind that almost every single game idea sounds amazing until people hunker down to actually make the thing. Still, if Microsoft does revive Scalebound, I’m looking forward to Bleszinski having a few more vodka sodas and telling us what he really thinks of Phil Spencer.
Outside of games, Bleszinski’s keeping busy with a comic about dogs fighting for justice in a dystopian future, as well as penning a memoir about his time in the industry. He’s also an investor and producer in theatre productions.