Da Ba Dee: BlueStreak Is Cliff Bleszinski’s F2P Arena Shooter

Cliff Bleszinski is a man who used to be called CliffyB, co-created Unreal and also invented the chainsaw gun, because videogames. Then he retired, but now he is unretired and returning to his roots. Except for the CliffyB part, at least so far as we know.

His new game, codenamed BlueStreak, will be an arena shooter with a modern (and F2P) twist. Nexon is publishing, and Bleszinski just fielded a bunch of questions about the game.

First, the basics: BlueStreak will be a sci-fi arena shooter with F2P “done right.” What does that mean? Speaking in a Reddit AMA, Bleszinski admitted that he’s not entirely sure yet.

“Honest answer: I’m not sure, and it’s entirely too easy to tell or make the call. Free to Play is one of those genres that means something entirely different depending on the game. For every model that feels like Las Vegas methods (Zynga, Candy Crush) there’s folks who do it right, like League of Legends, or WarFrame. So we’ll experiment, tweak, tune, and most importantly, build a positive community around the game as we develop it.”

“I’m DETERMINED to not do Pay To Win. Since this game is a shooter I want that one player who likes the game and doesn’t feel like spending any money to be able to take down the trust fund kid that’s spent a ton of money to have All The Stuff.”

He also said that he’s mostly over hyper-grimdark gritty Gears-of-War-style aesthetics, so characters won’t just be “BroZone,” as he put it. Expect something a little more District-9-ish. There will also be a story, but it won’t take centre stage. Rather, it will largely focus on giving context to the setting, and much of it will be told outside the game. Ultimately, though, the goal is to make a highly, highly skill-based shooter, a plan inspired by American football, of all things:

“I want to make a skill based game where someone who is really, really good is seen as a player with nearly godlike abilities. Sure, once in a while the person who sucks might get lucky with a stray shot and take that person down, but I want to craft a game that has weapons and moves that are easy to learn but to really make them sing takes thousands of hours of play just like a professional athlete would. Anyone can toss a football, but Drew Brees can get it through the tire at X yards every time.”

So that’s BlueStreak, more or less. It just started development, and the dev team is apparently only a dozen people strong at the moment. Admirably, Cliff plans to give himself a $1 yearly salary until they turn a profit.

Gotta say, I’m at least interested to see how it all turns out. Bleszinski has long been a divisive figure, but he knows how to put himself out there, and there’s something to be said for that. Heck, while his perspectives tend to be decidedly Old Guard, his post-Epic blog is a font of honesty about the industry’s churning gears, the Things They Don’t Want You To See, etc. 

Inevitably, any story about a game that Bleszkinski makes is a story about Bleszinski – even if he announces he’s making a chainsaw-gun-based forest-cutting simulator. The limelight is glued to him, and his public persona suggests he wouldn’t have it any other way. Whether BlueStreak turns out great or otherwise, how much will it get to exist on its own merits?


  1. Shooop says:

    Nexon is publishing…

    It’s doomed.

  2. WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

    I must admit I was rather hoping for a cross between Papers Please and Floor 13, where the PC is an overworked Whitehall bureaucrat tasked with pen-pushing and cutting through red tape to get an ultimately doomed missile project* funded and produced. I live in hope that one day that game will be made.

    * link to en.wikipedia.org

  3. LionsPhil says:

    he is unretired and returning to his roots

    Jazz Jackrabbit 3 lives?

    a sci-fi arena shooter with F2P

    Aaaaand back to complete disinterest.

    • Frank says:

      Yeah, Jazz 3 would be refreshing.

      It held my interest until he said it’ll be completely skill-based. That might be a good contribution to the esports world, but I’ll have none of it.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      2D platformers are dead, didn’t you get the memo? Rayman Oranges and Lemons don’t count.

    • Rizlar says:

      He made Jazz Jackrabbit? Well I honestly knew nothing about this Clifford chap before now, so in my books he’s a good un.

  4. Jediben says:

    Damn. I was so excited by the title as well. I thought that at long last I was to be offered the chance to live the life of Martin “not Will Smith, the other one” Lawrence through the wonder medium of gaming. So sad, so sad.

  5. Tuor says:

    I heard CliffyB also said he *is determined* to create a square without any corners, though he’s still not entirely sure how he’ll do it.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      Well, you make a square, and them charge for microtransactions to buy a scissors.

      • Chuckleluck says:

        And then by cutting the corners off BOOM you’ve made a hexagon! The corners are multiplying! It is the end of all things!

        • BlackAlpha says:

          Create a sphere out of many tiny microscopic squares so that people can’t see that it’s made out of squares, but don’t call it a sphere, call it a square. If somebody asks you why you are calling it a square while it looks like a sphere, tell them about the science behind it, how it’s actually made out of many tiny squares. It’s a recipe for assured success and fame! Oh shit, I should trademark this!

          EDIT: Here’s the first proof of concept, it’s actually possible!
          link to i.imgur.com

  6. BobbyDylan says:

    Cliffy B
    Free to play.

    I know all I need to.

  7. yabonn says:

    Sooooo that Cliff…. He makes games, right?

  8. Tei says:

    Hope is a good game!

    The picture shows some survivors and some type of alien magic eating the downtown area of the city. It could be a good setting. Somewhat like a realistic Shadownrun. Or thats what the image suggest to me.

  9. vecordae says:

    Cliff Yablonski. I remember the fellow from a magazine article where he and, I think, John Romero’s girlfriend were described as being among the “gods of gaming”. I think that American lad was there, too. The one that made those Alice games and now lives in China. Did any of them release anything interesting since the start of this century?

    • vecordae says:

      Krillcreek. I think that was the lady’s name.

      • steviebops says:

        Oh yeah, Romero’s girlfriend, which one is that, Simony or Nepotism?

    • Tuor says:

      I did like Alice: Madness Returns. It wasn’t a *great* game, but it was pretty good. Definitely worth my time.

    • Distec says:

      Cliff Yablonski is an altogether different Cliff…

  10. Geebs says:

    Does anybody think CliffyB realises he’s called his new game Project SwearProfusely?

  11. Prolar Bear says:

    “Da Ba Dee”
    “F2P CLFYB”

    I am impressed.

  12. Chuckleluck says:

    I never got into arena shooters until playing Unreal Tournament 3 (yes yes I *know*, for my first foray into the genre it was fun though), so a return is welcome. Right now I’m placing a big “we’ll see” stamp over this one.

    On a side note, it seems like everyone announcing a F2P game say they don’t want it to be pay to win. But it ends up going that way anyway.

  13. nich10solo says:

    F2P done right:

    Make it free with a few weapons with the ability to unlock everything.
    Pay $15 and get all the weapons (essentially just buying the game).

    • Frank says:

      (1) Poach an executive from Valve
      (2) Do exactly what he or she suggests

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      Considering that it’s an arena shooter, he needs to make the weapons and maps free, and characters and cosmetics cost money. Otherwise, it will fail next to Unreal Tournament 4.

    • Scumbag says:

      A) All weapons are available from the off
      B) Only skins and cosmetic stuff is paid for
      Or thats how I hear how the cool kids F2P stuff is done.

      My brain is still lodged in Q3 and UT stuff for this, and with that in mind unlocks make little to no sense.

  14. ukpanik says:

    Clifford wants a piece of that microtransaction pie.

  15. The Random One says:

    Man, Sonic games just don’t stop getting grittier.

  16. Armante says:

    Sir You Are Being Hunted is currently 75% off on Steam, only $5 :)

    • hprice says:

      The much cheaper, Smooth Operators is on Steam for only $2.99. Buy it now exclamation mark.

  17. deniedoperative says:

    Did anyone think STALKER when they saw the cover image? No? Only me?

  18. Rao Dao Zao says:

    Awww, I thought he mused about doing something like Unreal but in the open world style. Yet Another F2P Arena Shooter is… Well, not my bag anyway.

  19. waltC says:

    CliffyB is John Romero’s younger brother. Cut from the same cloth, me’ darlin’!