Gears of War main man Cliff Bleszinski has responded to a UK independent developer's claim that Epic vice president Mark Rein "is a jerk".

Yesterday Cliff Harris, who according to his blog "has worked from home for his own one man company – Positech Games, making quirky and original strategy and simulation games", called Mark Rein "a jerk" for allegedly heckling him during a panel session at the Develop Conference in Brighton.

"And the topic then came up of how indies can respond directly to gamers on stuff like messageboards," Harris wrote.

"Basically I started making the point, and Mark [Morris, Introversion] was also agreeing about how someone can email you as an indie dev, and you can reply personally back to that potential customer, and hopefully, that way you have converted that guy to buying the game.

"At this point, there was this derisive snort from this guy in the front row, who said something to the effect of, 'One guy? Who cares, that's a waste of time'. He then started to lecture us on how that's a silly way to do it.

"I'm 95 per cent sure that all four of us on the panel thought 'what the f***?' as well as 'who is this guy?', compounded by Robin [Lacey, Beatnik] asking him if he worked in marketing.

"Anyway… it turned out this guy was Mark Rein from Epic, although he seemed to assume everyone within earshot knew exactly who he was, and why he must obviously be right. I got the impression he was there to laugh at the little guys, or to just inform us how we are all wrong.

"Interestingly, it seemed there was someone from Sports Interactive (one time indies, as I recall) there, who seemed more on the indie wavelength than Mark. It would have been cool to chat with him.

"So… I've given this a lot of thought, and weighed up the pros and cons of just putting this down to misinterpreting someone, and so on, and I have reached this conclusion.

"Mark Rein is a jerk."

Responding to Harris' post, Bleszinski tweeted: "I haven't spoken with Mark today, but I'd wager he thought the comment was silly that only indy devs reply or interact to customers."

We've asked Rein for comment and will update as and when.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

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Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.