Cliff Blesinkski, who was lovingly referred to as Dude Huge in days past, has officially left Epic Games to purportedly take a break from the industry for awhile. The game designer has been with Epic for nigh on 20 years, known for classics such as Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal Tournament and Gears of War.
The self-described “Tony Stark of videogames” has been known to draw attention for being a little eccentric and is often seen as a bit of a playboy despite recently getting married to Lauren Berggren (with a fantastic wedding invite designed by the folks at Penny-Arcade). But what usually stood out the most about the man was how passionate he was about the games he helped make, often standing in as the face for Epic on many projects. Even on projects like People Can Fly’s Bulletstorm after Epic Games purchased the developer, CliffyB stepped in to help promote and invigorate the community about the game.
I have to say that during my recent preview of Fortnite at PAX, Epic Games’ upcoming Unreal Engine 4 title, the man did seem rather distant. There wasn’t the air of excitement that I’ve been used to in past interviews and I wondered between video footage just what was up. Others on the panel had a hard time keeping the energy up with someone who is typically known to have an natural energy of his own. To say that this announcement came as a surprise is no understatement though. Although he might have seemed distant at that time, it was the furthest thought from my head that he would be considering leaving. He joins other high profile departures of recent such as Doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk from Bioware and of course Peter Molyneux from Lionhead/Microsoft.
But despite all that, we wish Dude Huge the best of luck in all his future affairs. Whatever he does gravitate toward I can tell he will certainly own greatly. Lets just hope its more awesome video games.