Cliff Bleszinski

Clifford Bleszinski
CliffyB at GDC 2016 (25846174186) (cropped).jpg
Bleszinski presenting at the 2016 Game Developers Conference
Born Clifford Michael Bleszinski
(1975-02-12) February 12, 1975 (age 41)
North Andover, Massachusetts, U.S.
Residence Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
Other names CliffyB, Dude Huge
Occupation Game designer
Spouse(s) Lauren Bleszinski

Clifford Michael Bleszinski (born February 12, 1975), popularly known as CliffyB, is an American video game designer, former design director for the game development company Epic Games, and the founder of Boss Key Productions. He is known for his role in the development of the Unreal franchise, especially 1999's Unreal Tournament, and the Gears of War franchise.


Cliff Bleszinski made his first non-commercial game at the age of 11. His first commercial game was made at age 17, an independently developed point-and-click adventure game called "The Palace of Deceit: Dragon's Plight". Bleszinski created the game while he was a student at Bonita High School in La Verne, California, and released it in 1991 via his own company, Game Syndicate Productions. He sent a copy of the game to Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games (then known as Epic MegaGames). Sweeney was impressed with the game and hired Bleszinski to work at Epic.

Epic Games

His next game was Dare to Dream, a point-and-click adventure, released in 1993. Bleszinski worked on one of Epic's first multi-person projects brought, 1994's Jazz Jackrabbit followed by 1998's Jazz Jackrabbit 2. He helped to develop many of spin-off games such as "Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare", and designed the first-person shooter game Unreal which took four years of development. The follow-up game was Unreal Tournament. In addition to his work on the Unreal series, Bleszinski served as lead designer on the Xbox 360 shooter Gears of War and its sequel, Gears of War 2. Gears evolved out of the development of what was going to be a game called Unreal Warfare. As Bleszinski explained in a speech at GDC 2007 entitled "Designing Gears of War: Iteration Wins," the game started out as another first-person shooter in the Unreal universe. Over time, however, influenced by the cover mechanic in Namco's 2003 game Kill Switch and the third-person Resident Evil 4, Unreal Warfare became the game known as Gears of War. On April 12, 2010, he appeared on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to promote Gears of War 3, his last game for the company.

Bleszinski at the Gears of War event at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 2006

Bleszinski is one of the creators of Epic Game's Infinity blade, released in 2010. It is the first mobile game that he designed.

Cliff announced his departure from Epic Games on October 3, 2012 after 20 years with the company.

After Epic

On June 30, 2014, Cliff stated on Twitter, "I'm officially coming out of retirement to make video games again." On July 8, 2014, Cliff announced a free-to-play, PC-focused arena shooter code-named BlueStreak created by Boss Key Productions, his new studio.

On August 26, 2015, Cliff Bleszinksi revealed the first details about his upcoming free-to-play arena shooter, previously known as Project Bluestreak. The game, which is due out some time in 2016 and going to be published by Nexon, will be called LawBreakers.

Cliff Bleszinski was offered an opportunity to work on the Silent Hill franchise by Hideo Kojima, vice president of Konami Digital Entertainment. "I was flattered but declined," he wrote on twitter.

Personal life

One of his brothers is Tyler Bleszinski, a sports blogger who founded Athletics Nation and Vox Media. He is married to blogger Lauren Bleszinski (née Berggren). The nickname "CliffyB" was given to him derogatorily by "some jock kid" when he was a shy teenager; he then took it and developed a tougher persona around it. In 2008, he expressed a desire to retire the CliffyB moniker, saying it's "time to grow up a bit". Bleszinski is an atheist.

Bleszinski has opened two bars in Raleigh, North Carolina, one in 2014, called The Station, and another one in 2015, The Raleigh Beer Garden.


Bleszinski at PAX Prime 2012

Video games

  • The Palace of Deceit: the Dragon's Plight (1992), Game Syndicate Productions
  • Dare to Dream Volume One: In a Darkened Room (1993), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit (1994), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare 1994 (1994), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
  • Tyrian (1995), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare 1995 (1995), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2 (1998), Gathering, Project Two Interactive BV
  • Unreal (1998), GT Interactive Software Corp.
  • Unreal Tournament (1999), GT Interactive Software Corp.
  • Tyrian 2000 (1999), XSIV Games
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2: The Secret Files (1999), Gathering, Project Two Interactive BV
  • Unreal Tournament (Game of the Year Edition) (2000), Infogrames, Inc.
  • Unreal Tournament 2003 (2002), Infogrames, Inc.
  • Unreal Championship (2002), Infogrames, Inc.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit (2002), Jaleco Entertainment, Inc.
  • Devastation (2003), HD Interactive B.V.
  • Unreal Tournament 2004 (2004), Atari, Inc.
  • Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict (2005), Midway Home Entertainment, Inc.
  • Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (2005), Ubisoft, Inc.
  • Gears of War (2006), Microsoft Game Studios
  • Unreal Tournament III (2007), Midway Home Entertainment, Inc.
  • Gears of War 2 (2008), Microsoft Game Studios
  • Shadow Complex (2009), Microsoft Game Studios
  • Fat Princess (2009), Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc.
  • Lost Planet 2 (2010), CE Europe Ltd.
  • Bulletstorm (2011), Electronic Arts
  • Gears of War 3 (2011), Microsoft Game Studios
  • Superhot (2015), Blue Brick (co-designer of an arena stage)
  • LawBreakers (working title), Nexon Corporation


  • Stay Alive (2006) (consultant)
  • Various Mega64 skits
  • Jake and Amir, episode "The Hot Date" (2011) (played himself)
  • "Sonic for Hire" (Gears of War episode; played himself) (2013)
  • Video Game High School, season 2 episode 1 (2013)
  • Starbomb, "I Choose You TO DIE !! " (2014)
  • Video Games: The Movie (2014) (interviewed)

To give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies.  By browsing this site, you agree to our use of cookies.