Cliff Bleszinski has long been a rather loud figure in the games industry. After the smashing success of Gears of War, he pushed to further innovate within the games industry. He later founded Bosskey Productions, moving into a more controlled, and hopefully profitable, venture of his own. After founding in 2014, it released two games, LawBreakers (2017) and Radical Heights (2018). Both of these games flopped, leading to the closure of the studio in 2018.
Anyone who remembers LawBreakers and BossKey Productions and their various flaws will remember how outspoken Bleszinski was when marketing the game. His insistence for a “$29.99 title, none of that $60 multiplayer-only bull****,” in multiple interviews made his feelings about AAA games pretty clear. Despite this attempt to make an explosive and genre-defining hit once again, LawBreakers fell flat, quickly losing players after launch. Now, Cliff thinks he knows why.
Bleszinski says that he has been trying to figure out what went wrong. LawBreakers sold poorly and he wanted to know why. In some interesting new posts via his social media accounts, Bleszinski has said something that has set the internet alight.
“Instead of the story being ‘this game looks neat’ it became ‘this is the game with the ‘woke bro’ trying to push his hackey politics on us with gender neutral bathrooms.’ Instead of ‘these characters seem fun’ it was ‘this is the studio with the CEO who refuses to make his female characters sexier.’ Instead of ‘who am I going to choose’ it became ‘white dude shoehorns diversity in his game and then smells his own smug farts in interviews’ instead of just letting the product … speak for itself.”
With future statements, Bleszinski elaborated that this wasn’t the only problem, just one of many as he saw it. “In case I didn’t make it clear I mean that this was *A* factor, not THE. Marketing, timing, being on ps over xbox, and more were also factors” in the game failing to make a dent after launch.
To some extent, there might be some nugget of truth to the idea that Cliff Bleszinski’s personal political opinions, and often outspoken criticism of the AAA games industry played a part, but many remain unconvinced. As some have pointed out following these statements, the failure of LawBreakers seems a bit more simple than that. Many would point to attempts to market LawBreakers in a crowded market of AAA hero shooters and MOBAs, leading to genre fatigue, as a major factor.
The sad part about Bleszinski’s statements is that there is some small and vocal element of the internet that will embrace his message of railing against “woke” politics, and use to justify increasingly hostile extremism. Then again, they would probably do that anyway.