Bleszinski says games in most turmoil since '80s crash

Cliff Bleszinski thinks the games industry is in its greatest state of flux in decades, and he's waiting a bit to dip his toes back into the water. The former Epic developer plans to start a studio of his own, but he told GamesIndustry International that he may wait until things settle down a bit.

"This business has not been in a state of transition like it is right now since the video game crash of the '80s," Bleszinski said. "I really think we're in a massive state of turmoil. I think Nintendo could possibly be faced with the situation of becoming a company that only makes software moving forward. I think Sony and Microsoft are about to come to major blows."

Bleszinski said while the old school rumbles to keep its market share, new players are flocking to mobile devices and PC is enjoying a gaming renaissance. The ease of digital distribution and more flexible business models available outside of consoles threaten to make the dedicated boxes irrelevant.

Sony made developer-friendliness a pillar of its PlayStation 4 reveal, but will it and the next Xbox be open enough to--say--spawn another Minecraft? If they want to be successful, they'd better be, Bleszinski said.

"When Gears of War 2 launched and we found out that our netcode wasn't working right, it took us three months to get an update out," Bleszinski said. "By that time, the majority of users had moved on to the next game or had traded it in. If Microsoft and Sony are to do well in this next generation, they are going to need to reduce that time as much as possible, as well as continue to enable user-supported mods, independent games, and really just get rid of the wall that makes it incredibly hard to find those products, even if they're allowed on the console... All that red tape needs to be stripped away in order to create an ecosystem to allow for a product like Minecraft to actually happen on a console."


  • Shinn - February 28, 2013 11:15 p.m.

    Ugh. The guy makes a few entertaining yet powerfully average games, and thinks he knows everything.
  • Sid440 - February 26, 2013 7:08 a.m.

    I don't think its necessary for consoles to spawn another minecraft, hell just look at minecraft itself it started as PC only but at the end of the day its still one of the best selling games on xbox live, if the innovation is made elsewhere it will still inevitably move to the consoles.
  • ncurry2 - February 26, 2013 4:58 a.m.

    Glad to see so many people beat me to the punch about the Nintendo comment. That's just absurd. Don't people learn? "Industry experts" have been making this claim since the gamecube days and Nintendo is worth twice as much as it was back then. They're simply too big a force to fall over the course of a single, if not multiple generations. Besides, they're still destroying the handheld market and are coming off one of the best selling home consoles. Even if the Wii U only sells around 25 million like the GC and N64, it'll still be way profitable because of Nintendo's strong reliance on first party games. First party game sales == way more money than console sales anyway and no one does it better than Nintendo. Cliffy B should stick to engine development.
  • shawksta - February 25, 2013 6:51 p.m.

    Cliff has good intentions, but he sometimes exaggerate. But heck, anything can happen in the industry, except the claim of Nintendo going 3rd Party. Unlike Sega, they arent giving up anytime soon and continueing their goals. Plus, they got a shitload of money in the bank as if they knew a crash would come and they were ready.
  • RebornKusabi - February 25, 2013 6:29 p.m.

    Says the FUCK who made a game about chainsawing dudes into giblets! All he has done, and did then was rode on the coat-tails of this facet for years, contributing nothing to that project but copying Starship Troopers, Warhammer 40k and RE4 and developing an inflated and overgrown sense of self-entitlement while doing nothing original, new or unique since 2006! Even without all of that, you've become an annoying bore, shit all over PC gamers outright calling them pirates if they have a gaming PC (look it up!) and becoming a crier for the Xbox because they paid you more than your shitty company could afford. Dear Clifford Blezinskillenski, your Denis Dyack or if you would rather, your Peter Molyneux is showing :3
  • winner2 - February 26, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    " Says the FUCK who made a game about chainsawing dudes into giblets!"...and so on... Quit trying to attack him on the grounds that you don't like his games or his outward personality. I'm pretty sure he's actually got a clue about the game creation process and the gaming industry.
  • J-Fid - February 25, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    Haven't I learned on this site that Nintendo can do nothing for 70 years, and still have plenty of money? It's a little difficult to take Cliff seriously when he is clueless about 1/3 of the entire console market.
  • The Mad Prophet - February 25, 2013 2:26 p.m.

    I definitely agree with his vision of what the console landscape should, ideally, look like. But, I don't necessarily agree that consoles won't survive unless things change. Microsoft and Sony are just too interested in maintaining their walled gardens to open things up, so they will try to keep the status quo as long as possible. That means convincing people that they can have a cheaper and easier alternative to PC gaming, yet still have a very similar experience. And people will continue to buy them as we have done for years.
  • ultimatepunchrod - February 25, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    Well, I disagree. Gaming may be changing, but to say it's in the biggest state of turmoil since the crash of the 80's is just hyperbolic and inflammatory. Gaming is stable right now, and more people play in this era (on one device or another) than in any previous one. The idea that Nintendo is going to stop making consoles with their literal billions of dollars made on the Wii, DS, and 3DS is borderline laughable.
  • Cyberninja - February 25, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    I would have agreed with him but why do all people think Nintendo would make only software in the future? Last I checked the best selling item between both consoles and handhelds is 3DS, and I could see Wiiu hitting its stride as well with the stuff that's planned out for it
  • FoxdenRacing - February 25, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    Most of it is "Nintendo doesn't pander to 16-22 year old males" fanboyism, a good chunk of it is that Nintendo is way behind the game in the realms of online multiplayer and digital distribution, and I imagine an industry insider's perspective [in this case, Cliffy B's perspective] is one that Nintendo is falling further and further behind in the horsepower race, making it less attractive to AAA developers such as Epic.
  • shawksta - February 25, 2013 6:42 p.m.

    People dont understand that Nintendo is in the Market to expand gaming by bringing new experiences and being something different and unique. Everyone else just wants to put it as "GIMMICKS GIMMICKS CASUALS GIMMICKS"
  • TheDudeFromNowhere - February 25, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    Interesting theory...

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