Cliff Bleszinski, who we knew as CliffyB in the Gears of War days, he quickly took a step away from gaming after Lawbreakers flopped (and Boss Key, the dev team quickly got shut down after their last – battle royale – resort game Radical Heights).
„Hey all, been a while, figured I’d post an update. Currently, feel like my life is an RPG where the overall world has finally opened up and I can explore and do what I want after working my butt off for 25 years in videogames. I’ll never forget that it was games and the wonderful fans of my work that bought me this freedom and I’ll be forever grateful for that.
I wound up being asked to be involved with a little Broadway show called “Hadestown” a while back. Alex Boniello, who plays Connor Murphy in the Tony award-winning “Dear Evan Hansen” is a fan of my games and we became friends and he asked me to see if I wanted to be a co-producer/investor in the show. It was in “previews” on Broadway (kinda like alpha/beta) and a version of it was on Spotify.
I gave it a listen and was hooked. I’m not going to pitch it, but long story short it swept the Tony awards with 8 wins, including Best Musical. (A much-needed victory for me after my studio cratered!) Nicole Kidman/Keith Urban, Hillary, Jeff Bezos, the list goes on and on of people who are seeing this marvellous show. (Yes, I’m a Broadway nerd.)
After that went so well the wonderful folks from the production company approached me about co-producing “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” on Broadway, the Terrence McNally play about a short order cook and a waitress who hook up one night (yes, there’s nudity) and the rest of the evening figuring out each other emotionally. It’s delightful and funny and ends at the end of August – limited 16-week run! It stars Michael Shannon and Audra McDonald, two acting heavyweights, and I’m actually in the Playbill [a monthly magazine in the US for theatregoers – the editor], which is thrilling. In addition, I had meetings with the big publishers for my memoir in NYC recently and we’re mid-negotiation for a deal for that. They’re pitching it as “Kitchen Confidential” [Anthony Bourdain’s book, providing an insight into professional culinary businesses – the editor] for the gaming industry.
I guess my new job/hobby is learning how other businesses work, from the restaurant biz to Broadway, to publishing. Pretty weird period of my life to go from the Game of Thrones premiere to the openings of Hadestown and Frankie and Johnny and then to the Tonys and (catches breath) to San Diego Comic-Con all while having a new puppy. (Instagram: @ladypomsky) Make no mistake, though, games will always be my first love.
Thanks for tuning in, and, if you find yourself in NYC, go see either of these shows, they’re truly special and make for an amazing night out (or matinee!) (Catch my adventures on Instagram @dudehugetank if you’d like!)”, Cliff Bleszinski wrote on Facebook.
CliffyB thus retired from the gaming industry, but he has no financial issues – he got a ton of money when Tencent, one of the significant Chinese tech giants, purchased shares in Epic Games, plus he was also an early investor in Oculus, and when Facebook acquired the company, he also saw money from the deal. He feels good nowadays, and that matters the most.