Cliff Bleszinski on Forming His Own Studio, Triple A Development and Going Indie

CliffyB speaks out on AAA games development, having his own studio and more…

The first month of 2013 is almost up and we still have no clue what Cliff Bleszinski is up to. I mean, aside from knowing that he'll be giving the keynote speech at this year's PAX East.

Unfortunately, Bleszinski still hasn't decided on what he really wants to do. But the silver lining here is that he's not exactly saying "no" to AAA games development. Heck, he's not saying no to pretty much anything.

In an interview with GamesBeat, CliffyB talks about working for another videogame company, forming his own studio and on AAA games development.

On forming his own company or forming his own studio:

One of the main things I’ve been considering is opening my own studio. But the complication to that is, heavy is the head that wears the crown. If you have 150 people that you’re responsible for, with their families and their children and all that, that’s a lot of weight. The company depends on you. Being an employee of somebody else or being a consultant are also options.

At the end of the day, I just want to do something that motivates me, that gets me out of bed. I’ve been able to be financially successful enough that the only work I have to do is the work that I want to do. It’s a fortunate position.

CliffyB on being an indie developer and on working on AAA games:

Possibly. I think that would be a good way to start. Indie has its strengths, but it also has its weaknesses. It’s a tough area. You’re sleeping under your desk and doing 16-hour days. You sink or swim of your own volition, which is beautiful, but at the same time you’re not getting the Times Square billboards and all that.

I’m not gonna lie. Doing Gears of War, I loved the large-scale aspect of it. We could leverage Microsoft to get the American Chopper TV special and have big launch events and see our ads on TV during Monday Night Football. That level of relevance comes with being triple-A.

Finally, Bleszinski speaks out on complete retirement or if he will still make games:

I want to be creative in some sort of fashion. I’m a pretty smart designer who has a good sense and a good track record, but unless I’m surrounding myself with my Avengers, I’m useless. I would need a ninja producer. I would need a ninja president for the company. I’d need a ninja lead programmer. All these people who would help supplement what I would want to do. Building that team would not be easy.

The thing is, I would want to get back to the triple-A space eventually, but the last thing I would want to do — and no offense meant to Curt Schilling [38 Studios] and John Romero [Ion Storm] — is to do what those guys did. “Let’s throw 300 bodies at it! Sure, we’ll just make it work!” That’s the equivalent of taking a garage band and having them play Wembley Stadium on day one. You have to learn how to work with people. You find that some people don’t work out and then you get a new drummer, so to speak. You iterate, and you find the voice of the team. It’s very similar to building a sports club or building a rock band.

It's a rather long interview, but I suggest giving the entire thing a read — and yes, that includes the first chapter.

Where would you want CliffyB to end up? Or would opening his own studio suit him best?