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Cliff Bleszinski does the unreal and leaves Epic

"It's time for a much needed break."

Epic Games design director Cliff "CliffyB" Bleszinski has departed from the studio he helped make famous after a two decade stint.

Where's he going? No one knows. Possibly Disneyland, possibly out of games altogether, or maybe he's going to go the Molyneux route and start his own company.

Bleszinski offered the following words on Epic Games' website:

I can't take it anymore!

"I've been doing this since I was a teenager, and outside of my sabbatical last year, I have been going non-stop. I literally grew up in this business, as Mike [Capps, president of Epic] likes to say. And now that I'm grown up, it's time for a much needed break."

"I will miss the projects, the playtests, the debates, and most importantly, the people. Epic only hires the best of the best, and it has been a joy working with each and every one of you on a daily basis, whether you were hired weeks ago or decades ago. I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with a variety of disciplines, from code to art to marketing and PR - it's been one big, rewarding learning experience. I'm confident that each project that is being built, whether at Epic, Chair, PCF, or Impossible will be top notch and will please gamers and critics alike."

Epic's founder, CEO and technical director Tim Sweeney, added "In 20 wonderful years with Epic, Cliff Bleszinski has grown into a true design luminary, and his contributions to the 'Unreal' and 'Gears' series have helped shape the game industry into what it is today. Cliff leaves Epic with our gratitude for his many contributions, and our wishes for continued success in the next chapter of his life!"

Epic vice president Mark Rein said, "Cliff has been my friend and business associate for the past 20 years and, while it is sad to see him move on from Epic, I know that everyone here has benefited greatly from his passion for gaming and the depth of his expertise and experience."

Bleszinski was mostly known for his work on Unreal Tournament and Gears of War. He was last seen working on Gears of War: Judgment and Fortnite.

Curiously, Adrian Chmielarz - founder of Bulletstorm and Gears of War: Judgment developer People Can Fly - also left the company he helped create last month. Could they be working on a new project together? Only time will tell.