Epic’s Cliff Bleszinski Says New Devs Should Make For PC

Epic’s Cliffy “Cliffy B” Bleszinski B just told a huge crowd of developers at 2012’s GDC that when starting up a developer, forget Xbox Live, PSN, iOS, Android and Windows phones, and instead make games for PC. Condemning the way Microsoft and Sony treat indies, and dismissing mobile gaming, the Unreal developer said that the PC was the only place to start.

In a five minute microtalk, he rapidly fired through a series of tips for new developers, heavily emphasising the need to focus on PC, and only jokingly suggesting that they should use UDK to do it.

Making it clear that early games will suck, he argue that persistence and passion were necessary for eventual success, observing that Rovio made around 50 games before they struck gold with Angry Birds.

But what about other platforms later? Even then, his suggestion was to stick with PC, and maybe consider iOS if you can get touch controls to work properly. Xbox and PlayStation he still qualified with warnings that Microsoft or Sony may not give you the promotion you deserve.

When you’ve got your game made, he stressed that people shouldn’t use focus groups, calling them a waste of time, and instead suggested you be more imaginative. Tweet him or Notch, he offered, and if they like your game they’ll retweet it and bring it lots of attention.

He finished saying,

“Do it because you love it, but make sure you get paid.”


  1. Petethegoat says:

    Those notes at the end are a wonderful insight into the journalistic process.

  2. int says:

    How about a new Jazz Jackrabbit?

    • Matt says:

      How about a new Dare to Dream?

    • Eukatheude says:

      How about a pc game?

    • Ridnarhtim says:

      They’d just cock it up anyway. I’ve pretty much given up all hope for Epic, their last really great game was in 2004.

      Another victim of the console generation =(

    • Khemm says:

      How about a proper Unreal 2?

      • c-Row says:

        What was wrong with the other Unreal 2?

        • DrGonzo says:

          Nothing is wrong with Unreal 2. It’s still their best game, except for the fact that they didn’t actually make it.

          • Khemm says:

            Unreal 1 was an uncomparably better game… I loved the giant levels, the feeling of being stranded on an alien planet.

  3. RakeShark says:

    I find Cliffy’s more recent kinder words about PC gaming odd and surprising, like an ex-lover who left you for some shallow moneybags, and you totally despise him for thinking he was a wonderful guy, but now hearing through friends he’s started saying his time with you was great and enviable.

    It’s confusing, I’ll need to think on it over a gallon of ice cream and sweatpanted viewings of DVD seasons of Friends.

    • Stephen Roberts says:

      No need for any more comments.

    • top8cat says:

      I’ve been visiting this site for what seems like ages, but your comment made me take the plunge and create an account just to say

      Brilliant! Well done mate, well done.

    • badoli says:

      I guess as he wanted to further his career, his old lover was standing in the way and he had to get in bed with these two sell-out bitches that suck him dry thanks to all the responsibilites he has nowadays. Sure, he makes a lot of money now, but then again how is one supposed to forget that one old love that gave you so much sweet lovin… ;)

      “If it wasn’t for these jealous, stuckup bitches, honey, i would come back… I love you, babe!”

    • MichaelPalin says:

      Don’t believe him, he will dump you again as soon as he finds a younger Xbox.

  4. pakoito says:

    hehe Cocos2D

  5. Radiant says:

    When was the last time Clifford was successful as an indie developer?

    • pakoito says:

      Nineteen ninety NEVER, because he sold Jazz to Epic Megagames.

  6. Max.I.Candy says:

    Is that pic from the end of GoW3?
    i found it very disapointing.

    • Matt says:

      No, it’s from Bulletstorm.

      • Max.I.Candy says:

        oh,i loved bulletstorm.best shooter of last year.

        • Eukatheude says:

          Second best. Have you played Serious Sam 3?

          • nyarlathotep-88 says:

            Serious Sam 3!!! One of the best games last year hands down.

          • DrGonzo says:

            Still playing SS3 through and enjoying it. But I absolutely loathed Bulletstorm, apart from the lovely looking environments, I think I despised every single last bit of it.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Agreed. GoW3 was terrible. Well, maybe “terrible” is a bit harsh, but the only improvement was that the characters were finally fleshed out a little bit. (the part with Cole having football hallucinations was pretty funny) Gears 2 was a great game. Story was dumb as hell, but the game itself was a blast.

    • wodin says:

      Bulletstorm was a great game, one of the few I finished. Shame it didn’t see well as I’d have happily bought a sequel.

  7. subedii says:

    link to rockpapershotgun.com

    BULLETSTORM DEMO COMING TO 360/PS3 JANUARY 25th. In other news, PC gamers are grumpy about this.”

    link to multiplayerblog.mtv.com

    I think the PC is just in disarray… what’s driving the PC right now is ‘Sims’-type games and ‘WoW’ and a lot of stuff that’s in a web-based interface. You just click on it and play it. That’s the direction PC is evolving into

    link to edge-online.com

    The biggest game of all now is Farmville, right? Free to play with micropayments is not just working in Asia but in the western market. So, most publishers I’m speaking to right now think their money’s going to be shifting back to PC and away from traditional consoles, just because folks are in that mode of wanting to spend a little bit of time every now and then, and paying money to save time because there’s so much media competing for it.

    So, maybe Facebook will save PC gaming – but it’s not going to look like Gears Of War.

    Yeah, you’re not going to be playing Baldur’s Gate. It’s just not going to be that way. It’ll be a free-to-play, buy-your-potions-for-five-cents-online version, with user-created content [laughs]. Our children will never know what they’ve lost.

    link to rockpapershotgun.com

    Here’s the problem right now; the person who is savvy enough to want to have a good PC to upgrade their video card, is a person who is savvy enough to know bit torrent to know all the elements so they can pirate software.

    I mean, I can’t be the only one remembering all this stuff coming from the same company… can I? I mean Crikey, this stuff is all pretty recent too. And that last one in particular surely applies just as much to indie games doesn’t it? Because anyone “savvy” enough to keep up with the hardcore indie scene obviously has enough knowledge to be able to pirate the games as well.

  8. SelfEsteemFund says:

    All this wonderful advice given in his usual condescending tone (I’m guessing), thanks Cliffy.
    Hey Cliffy, why aren’t your games on the PC again? Oh yeah, because all the money is on the consoles and no one buys games on PC. Those filthy pirates and their dead platform pfft.

    • MattM says:

      Well I guess he is saying that large publishers have the power to negotiate with platform holders whereas indie devs don’t and do better on open platforms.

    • Jools says:

      Listening to big developers about business stuff has always, always been silly. There’s no reason to think CliffyB has any insight whatsoever into the economics of indie development, or even the economics of AAA game development. One of the most frustrating things about gamer “culture” is this tendency to think that big name developers are in any way privy to some kind of special and important industry knowledge. Being an employee, even a pretty important one, in a gigantic corporation really affords very little in the way of special status.

      • Oof says:

        Someone with sense. I like you, Jools.

      • sneetch says:

        A very good point, Jools. It’s a bit like taking advice about making movies from the Chief Financial Officer of Blockbusters. The CFO will have some general insights, I’m sure, but won’t be an expert.

        I think that rather than quotes from him warning people away from consoles and onto PC (because, let’s be honest here, it’s what we want to hear; we like hearing that people should be working on PC because that’s great!) I’d rather hear advice and tips about how to make it on PC and other platforms from people who can and did make it.

        After reading your post I have to think this is more like a kid telling you that you shouldn’t try the monkey bars because the kids there will be mean and the sandpit isn’t worth playing in so you should stay on the swings… and then when you’re on the swings you notice the guy is on the monkey bars and playing in the sandpit but doesn’t seem to like the swings that much and you go, hang on, wait a second here.

  9. rockman29 says:

    I’m really surprised he actually gave good advice, even if he was still an a-hole about it.

    That’s nice.

  10. Motorheadache says:

    I’d say that is all sound advice.

    I’d rather hear it from someone else.

    Hindsight is 20/20.

  11. Angel Dust says:

    Where are image alt text funnies? That’s three posts in a row now, John.

    I’ll be waiting over here.

  12. hosndosn says:

    Suddenly, nested comments on RPS! Yay!

    • bear912 says:

      Sadly, it doesn’t seem as if there’s a way to report comments anymore.

      Though, admittedly, I wasn’t ever really sure whether reporting them actually did anything.

      • Jams O'Donnell says:

        Reporting comments will be back later.

        Also, the report button lets the Hivemind know there’s a problematic comment.

    • irongamer says:

      Was thinking the same thing. Finally!

    • f1x says:

      that was just to test it

    • qptain Nemo says:

      To be honest I thought the lack of nesting beyond 1 level was rather neat and comfortable to read… oh well. ¬_¬

  13. MordeaniisChaos says:

    Wow, way to get out and stick it to the crap that consoles put devs through.
    That said, the last PC game using his tech was a fucking shit storm, literally broken at launch.

    • Shadram says:

      His tech? The Unreal Engine? I’d guess the last game released with that tech would be Mass Effect 3, and that wasn’t broken…
      Unless you’re thinking of Carmack?

      • PoulWrist says:

        Even if he is, then Rage worked just fine. On most people’s system.

      • Khemm says:

        Once AMD finally released proper drivers, I had no problems with Rage.

        • DrGonzo says:

          I’ve gone through two graphics cards since Rage came out, and 3 different installs of (different versions) of Windows. Still haven’t been able to get it to work properly.

  14. vivlo says:

    FEZ anyone ?

  15. Shooop says:

    You’re sure it’s Cliff Bleszinski who said this?

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Yeah, but he then went on to say that ONLY indie devs should support the PC, because PC gamers are all grumpy pirates.

      • animlboogy says:

        Ha! That’s more the Cliff we know!

        It is wonderful, measured advice, though. A sign that Blezinski got to where he is through work and effort, not dumb luck.

      • Shooop says:

        Now that I can believe.

  16. Spacewalk says:

    Cliff Bleszinski says a lot of things.

  17. Etherealsteel says:

    This is odd, thought Cliff B totally converted to the console b/c that’s where all the money is to line his deep pockets.

    • animlboogy says:

      We PC gamers have a right to be bitter about Epics sudden and swift abandonment of us after the first Gears of War. Times have changed for PC gaming, though. Steam is a behemoth to be reckoned with. Standalone games like Minecraft move millions based on their ingenuity. You don’t have to be an Asian supergrind MMO to make money in the PC space anymore. But that did seem true for a few years of the 00’s!

  18. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    CliffyB really is a complete tool. Epic left the PC behind long ago yet he wants others to embrace it whilst using Unreal Engine 4!

    Cliff said all PC gamers knew who to torrent games & majority did.
    Epic CEO said last year no Gears Of War3 on PC as the 360 patch was more important to them.

    Meanwhile back on planet earth the PCGA report $18.6b record 2011 PC game sales now CliffyB comes out of the woodwork….go figure the reasoning behind this all!!

  19. Kleppy says:

    Kinda hypocritical of him, considering Gears of War 2 and 3 were never released for the PC.

    I do find it hilarious that people are offended by his move to consoles. I’m sure that were you in his place, being offered a huge paycheck to develop exclusively, you’d heroically refuse to keep up the fight for your choice of gaming device.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      I fully admit i’d be on my knee’s pleasuring that consoles uh..port.. faster than you can say ‘sellout’. But I wouldn’t go around pretending to be a paragon of chastity and virtue afterwards, either ;)

      Stop wearing white to weddings, Cliffy. Everyone knows your a skank.

      • arccos says:

        Why is it noble or heroic to develop for the PC? It doesn’t make you a terrible human being to enter into an exclusive contract with MS or Sony. If it makes good business sense, it’s good business.

        There is no One True Platform, so please stop trying to burn the heretics.

    • Nethlem says:

      It’s funny how you assume that your greed based thinking applies to everyone and that everybody is just doing what he does because he’s getting MONEY!!11

      The only people that buy into such kinds of sellouts are people that are unsure about their own abilities. So they are quite happy about taking a large sum of money and give most of the responsibilities away to some higher up guy.

      EPIC had a choice to stay independent, they didn’t take that choice because the cashbags from MS seemed like an easier way to get “lots of money and a big name”.

      I despise that kind of behavior because it clearly shows that the guy lost all artistic vision and freedom for the sake of “making big money and being important!”. And i can’t support that kind of motivation, too many videogames allready get build as an “commercial product that prints money without further effort” instead of buildings new worlds and experiences we haven’t seen before.

      Valve also got more then enough offers to sell out, even before Steam made them the giant financial behemoth they are today. Did valve sell out? Nope… because they know that staying independent is important if you want to realize your creative dreams, give up your independence and you will be slave to all kinds of external rules and benchmarks, and most of them made up by soulless marketing departments..

    • DrGonzo says:

      I find it worrying that everyone assumes everyone will sell out if offered enough money. Some of us have no interest in it. I’m no good for money and it’s no good for me.

  20. Wisq says:

    Everyone who’s yelling about how Cliff B has “abandoned” the PC is failing to read the headline of the article. He’s saying that new developers should develop for the PC.

    “[…] when starting up a developer […] make games for PC.”
    “Condemning the way Microsoft and Sony treat indies.”
    “PC [is] the only place to start.”

    It’s a story of his origins and of the best way for others to follow in his footsteps. It’s not a statement of preference, or allegiance, or whatever else.

    Not really any different than an author recommending you start with short stories, or a superstar electric guitarist saying you should start with acoustic, or that friend who drives standard suggesting you learn by driving automatic first. You don’t yell at them for suggesting you do something they don’t do any more, and you don’t get all offended that they decided to change their focus later.

    • JB says:

      Oh goodness, no. Don’t learn automatic first. If you’re going to drive, bite the bullet and learn manual. After that, auto is like driving a bumper car/dodgem. (In that it’s easy, not that you should ram other drivers!)

      • subedii says:

        Yeah I ralise it’s different Stateside, but in the UK and most of Europe, the vast preference with cars sold are still manual cars.

    • Apolloin says:

      Exactly. The man said that if you’re going to go the Indie Developer route then start on PC – after all the infrastructure and technology is right there for you to push and distribute your own game without having to get in bed with a major player who will essentially take you over. Nothing that Cliffy said was that outre, he was just telling it how it is.

      Console development IS where the money is at, but if you’re not in bed with either one of the three Platform owners or one of the Mega Publishers, then that money is probably not for you. You’ll essentially be competing with the big boys in space that they own and by their rules. Good luck, compadre.

      Two of the reasons why the big publishers have been swallowing the spiralling costs of AAA development without a murmur is that it has made Developers their bitches and it has shut anyone who isn’t a Megacorp out of the mainstream market. Sure, everyone can point at Notch and claim I’m being cynical, but Notch isn’t AAA and isn’t mainstream and isn’t trying to be. If he does, he’ll wind up playing by the rules or having his ball taken off him.

      • Rattlepiece says:

        Don’t try to fool yourself. There’s plenty of money even for “AAA” developers as long as it’s not a port made in 5 minutes.

  21. SirKicksalot says:

    >don’t buy Bulletstorm
    >bitch about Cliffy’s games not being on PC

    I seriously hope you guys don’t do this.

    • caddyB says:

      Bulletstorm should have sold more. It’s just a brilliant game. Pure killing stuff in interesting ways fun.

    • El_Emmental says:

      > pretending Bulletstorm is totally a PC-focused game

      I’m not saying it’s bad, but for many PC gamers believe it’s a Steam-sales or a bargain-bucket game, the replayability and gameplay diversity isn’t really good to be honest

      • Toolbox says:

        I felt that way myself. It got dull pretty fast, and QTEs didn’t help either.

    • subedii says:

      As far as I’m aware, nobody bought Bulletstorm. It didn’t do well anywhere, not even on the consoles where you would expect the market is SUPPOSED to lap up titles like this.

      Even assuming poor sales PC-side, that doesn’t mean much on a game that most of the audience didn’t seem interested in.

      • Napalm Sushi says:

        Bulletstorm: proof that all the hype, noise and gore in the world won’t sell your game if it doesn’t have at least a number “2” in the title.

        For the record, I liked the game.

    • Nethlem says:

      And why not? The guys at EPIC have been shittalking about the PC Gaming community for years now, while showing al blatant lack of understanding of how PC Gaming works or the industry in general. Yet they only got to where they are today because of the way PC Gaming works.

      Best quote ever: “Anybody who knows how to change a videocard knows how to torrent a game, so don’t develope on PC.”

      Having statements like these come from a company that profited the most from the early years of 3D accelerators is so fucking retarded that i can’t believe it.

      EPIC only got to where they are today because people bought new videocards for Unreal and Quake, EPIC had been successfull because they pushed the tech to a degree that required you to upgrade your videocard every few months.

      It’s those people that “know how to change videocards” that made EPIC big in the first place, yet they have no problem talking shit about them.

      These guys at EPIC realized that outside of GoW and an console optimized engine they don’t have much to go on. Now they want to crawl back because they realize that the current console gen is running out of stream….

      Now we are supposed to welcome them back with open arms like nothing happened? Just because they ported a poor shallow consoly shooter to the PC? No, sorry.. won’t happen…

      For all i care that whole company can go up in flames…

    • DrGonzo says:

      Bulletstorm should have sold nothing. Really didn’t get the backlash against Batman for being sexist when Bulletstorm exists.

      • Thants says:

        How is Bulletstorm sexist? Is it against men? Because “dick” seems like the most common swear-word in it.

        Anyway, it’s your loss if you can’t appreciate humorously over-the-top profanity.

        • RakeShark says:

          Erm, don’t get me wrong, I like a well delivered dick and fart joke as much as the next guy. But over-the-top cussing and profanity are not in of themselves humor.

    • SirKicksalot says:

      Epic does more for PC gaming than many, many other companies with their Unreal SDK. It’s one of the most amazing things to happen to PC gaming.

      For the record, Bulletstorm featured one of the strongest female characters in years. I also don’t find it repetitive – it’s definitely one game that you *can* play wrong.

    • Shooop says:

      Bulletstorm wasn’t his game. It was People Can Fly’s.

      Bleszinski just promoted it because Epic bought PCF.

  22. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Guys, no matter what he might say, the reason GoW isn’t on the PC is the same reason why it isn’t on the PS3: Microsoft. Piracy didn’t stop them from releasing Bulletstorm on the PC,

    • Khemm says:

      Alan Wake made it to PC and I’m very glad it did, it’s a good game, flawed, but I enjoyed it as a whole.
      Epic could self-publish some of their later releases just like Remedy did, they have the rights to Shadow Complex or Gears.

      • Ragnar says:

        Gears of War did make it to the PC (1 did, anyway). It came out a year after the Xbox release, and there was no marketing what I was aware of, and I didn’t hear about it until years later when I found out my friend had a copy, but it did come out. Given the fact that seemingly no one knew it came out on PC, I’m guessing it didn’t sell well.

  23. motorsep says:

    CliffyB said it. PC is the king .. or queen!

    However, indies are doomed to failure unless people or mainstream media will pay more attention to them and support them. Simple tweet can go far and help indies with alpha funding, for example. Why am I talking about it? Because we have Tomes of Mephistopheles and Steel Storm 2 in production, and while people love it, we can’t get even scrape up enough to fund 5 month of full time development for Tomes of Mephistopheles.

    So if you like it, tweet about it, bug hell out of mainstream media to give us a PR boost! :)

  24. Gap Gen says:

    I think it boils down to the fact that Cliffy B has noticed that if you say “PC gaming is” followed by a random adjective, you get publicity.

  25. virtualmatrix258 says:

    Wow, what a dunder headed idiot. So what he’s saying is, “Make your early games for PC gamers because they’re going to suck.” Which is kind of obvious, new studios always lack the passion that a medium to larger studio has. Hmmm, so people are actually thinking that he’s being “nice” and “kind” to the PC gaming community? This was an insulting jab.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Way to read between the lines.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I think the first games anyone makes will probably have flaws. It’s like the first painting you do will probably be a bit wrong, or how your first child is usually the one that flips out and kills the family, oh you get the idea.

  26. zeroskill says:

    Cliff Bleszinski is a hypocrite if I ever seen one.

  27. Uglycat says:

    His shirts were a thing of wonder.

  28. Teasemycannonright says:

    Like Nintendo treats indies better than Sony or Microsoft
    link to arstechnica.com

    • sneetch says:

      I don’t think he even mentioned Nintendo, did he?

      Most devs seem to discount Nintendo’s box when considering digital platforms to release on perhaps it’s the fact that the Wii store is mostly re-releases of old, NES, SNES, N64, Megadrive games so they think that that’s what people want, maybe they think/know the sales figures are much lower, maybe it’s because Sony and MS fight over the space (exclusivity contract) and Nintendo don’t. Who knows.

    • El_Emmental says:

      Like if Nintendo business model wasn’t relying on political correctness – give them a break, it’s their platform, they have stayed away from anything too “shocking” since the 90s (remember the drama about conker’s bad fur day)

      just because some devs took the risk of making a “shocking” (for some people) game doesn’t mean Nintendo should take the same risk

      hell Nintendo made their “Seal of Approval” and even bundled the NES with a robot to be accepted as a “family entertainment system” instead of a “video game console”, to be featured in “family-friendly” shops – it eventually allowed the video game market to get back on track after the 83 crisis (it would have gone back anyway, but Nintendo helped a lot), you can’t blame Nintendo for protecting their brand identity

    • DrGonzo says:

      What are you blathering about? Manhunt 2 got a Wii release, Madworld which is about chainsawing people in half. Then there is the Resident Evil titles. They don’t steer clear of violent games.

    • ffs_jay says:

      The problem with Nintendo isn’t their treatment of mature content (which is pretty much the same as anyone else these days, even with their more family friendly focus), it’s that when it comes to online functionality in general, they typically seem to be a good ten years behind the curve. Consequently, they just don’t have the more indie-friendly infrastructure MS and Sony do. It’s changing a bit these days, but for the longest time they had no way whatsoever for indies to develop for their platforms.

      Basically, he didn’t mention them because if you’re not already a known quantity, they’re not going to give you the time of day, even more so than the other two. So, pretty much irrelevant if you’re a new developer. And I don’t know the numbers, but there doesn’t seem to be many devs aiming for Nintendo platforms even with the colossal user bases they have, which suggests the more fringe indie stuff just doesn’t shift units there, or it’s too much hassle to even bother.

  29. Hoaxfish says:

    Hey guys, stay on PC…. because I don’t want competition with my games on the consoles


  30. El_Emmental says:

    so basically, all platforms are worth your time, it only depends on what kind of entertainment experience you’ll provide to your customer… breaking news !

    new devs should identify the empty gap and niches not yet filled by tons of copycats and big developers and try to make a name for themselves and/or a living and keep running to the next unfilled new market

  31. NothingFunny says:

    ” shouldn’t use focus groups, calling them a waste of time”


  32. Turkey says:

    Breaking News! Cliffy B singlehandedly resurrects PC gaming with one statement. The outspoken game developer/prophet had singlehandedly destroyed the gaming platform by whispering words of piracy and betrayal into 33.6K modem, but now Alien Ware PC’s are booting up all over the world for the first time in almost a decade.

    • Turkey says:

      ph’nglui mglw’nafh Clifford B’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

      • Rukumouru says:

        “In his house at B’lyeh dead Clifford lies dreaming” for the uninitiated.

  33. Khemm says:

    So, what he’s saying is:
    “Use PC as a trampoline to elevate you to the console land and then kick your former fanbase in the nuts – just like WE DID!”


    • Kleppy says:

      Drama queen much?

      • Khemm says:

        I’d say I’m a bit butthurt Shadow Complex or Gears of War 2-3 were denied to us.

    • Unaco says:


      That isn’t what he’s saying, really. Use PC to trampoline, sure… there are multiple reasons for indies to start with PC before they go after the big Playing Stations and Boxes of X. But he isn’t advocating abandoning the PC, quite the opposite in fact. The 2nd last paragraph in the article, if you’d read it…

      But what about other platforms later? Even then, his suggestion was to stick with PC, and maybe consider iOS if you can get touch controls to work properly. Xbox and PlayStation he still qualified with warnings that Microsoft or Sony may not give you the promotion you deserve.

      doesn’t sound like advocating the abandonment of the PC. Sounds like advice to stick with the PC, and be wary of the console land players.

      • Khemm says:

        But actions speak louder than words. Since 2006-2007, what they’ve been doing is the exact opposite of Cliffy’s points made in his speech.

        • Rukumouru says:

          In EPIC’s defense I’ll say they probably got themselves into a pretty nasty contract with Microsoft.

          Not that I give a crap about Gears of Whack-a-mole 2 or 3. I rather liked Bulletstorm.

        • Unaco says:


          But, Epic != new Indie start up.

          Advice for an Indie start up, just starting out, trying to make their first game does not apply to a massive development studio (Epic) that have been around for decades and have masses of concerns. He’s giving advice for Indies, in regards to how he currently sees the ground… not saying “this is what Epic does”, or “do as I say, not as I do”.

          His points are no less valid because of Epics behaviour, because Epic is not an Indie developer just starting up (which is what his advice is directed at).

        • scim says:

          MS needed an engine to show off what the Xbox360 was capable of. EPIC makes a damn good game engine and they were just finishing up their latest iteration of it. MS probably thought it was a good idea to offer them a sweet deal if they would just release the new game they were developing along with it on their platform. Et voila. Money, promises and handshakes later and EPIC was locked into a contract that promised exclusivity and an option for sequels and whatnot. Anyway long story short EPIC is a AAA dev and one of a handful of companies that make and license an all purpose game engine, their not an indie dev or a start up. At that point they were in it to sustain themselves as a company. And for better or worse AAA titles need the sales numbers they see on consoles not the ones they see on PC. The number of Gears 3 copies sold is roughly equal to the total number of people online on Steam at any given time. That’s just not going to cut it anymore considering how high the development costs are. The time of small team development is over on that stage, just look at id Software and the problems they had/have with their new game & tech.

          Anyway for a new developer it is smart to start on PC. You do not need to get in bed with MS, Sony, Nintendo, Apple or even Valve if you don’t want to. The only third parties you might need are a hosting provider and someone who handles the monetary transactions (which can also be a pain as we’ve seen before). In other words, you’re free to do what you want and you can patch when you want, release new stuff when you want, market it how you want, charge for it what and when you want it etc. etc. And you take all the profits after you subtracted your expenses. Yeah, he might not be following his own advice anymore, but guess what, he isn’t working out of his parents basement anymore either.

  34. Premium User Badge

    Neurotic says:

    Yes, well done Cliffy. Welcome back to the fold, you won’t be forgiven again if you get stupid.

  35. lith says:

    “Hi, PC gamers and potential developers. It’s me, Cliff Bleszinski. You might know me as Cliffy B, but not anymore, but you probably don’t know that. I’m the guy who made Unreal, and some other stuff.

    “I’m just here to say that if there are ANY guys here who’re thinking of going into development: great! That’s cool. That’s how I started. But stay away from the consoles. That’s my turf. And I *will* cut you like the punk-ass bitch you are if you come close. Yeah, I know there’s a lot of money on consoles. More than on PC. That’s why I develop for Xbox. Cliffy gots to get paid, yo.

    “But that leaves you with PC all to yourself (by the way, have you heard of the Unreal Development Kit? It’s a nice little engine, and the first hit of it’s always free!) That’s cool. We couldn’t give a shit what you do there. You stay on your turf, and I’ll stay on mine. I don’t need you turnin’ my hoes.

    “And maybe, just maybe, if Big C (that’s me) likes what you do, and you’re getting a little too uppity, we’ll buy your ass out, like we did with those guys who made Painkiller. I forget their name. I think the lead artist is the guy I get to fetch my coffee. Just remember this: black, no sugar.

    “So, have fun on the PC. But don’t go messing with us big boys, kids. The Xbox is for grown-ups.”

  36. ffs_jay says:

    Regardless of what I think about Cliffy, it’s still pretty sensible advice. PC users (or at least significant elements of the user base) are generally a lot more welcoming to stuff that’s an unknown quantity or maybe a little lo-fi if there’s some good ideas in there.

    I find it heartening that everything from the Spiderweb games to Illwinter’s stuff to Winter Wolves’ visual novels have their own sustainable fanbases to keep them ticking along. There’s a good portion of people that will give your game a chance, and, despite all the piracy rubbish, can be a surprisingly loyal and supportive crowd once they find something they like. Not to mention you’ve got places like RPS to actively champion interesting efforts, even from absolute first-timers. The App store might have potentially astounding rewards, but it seems much more of a lottery, and doesn’t have anything like the infrastructure for promoting new developers.

    Of course I’m yet to release my first commercial game, so I could be proven massively wrong sometime over the next year, but it’s very much the impression I get, as a gamer if nothing else.