Q&A

EDGE - - HYPE - Cliff Bleszin­ski Co-founder, Boss Key Pro­duc­tions

Has go­ing back to a small team re­cap­tured the feel­ing of the early days for you?

It’s risky, but it’s also a lit­tle ex­cit­ing. Epic’s grown be­cause they want to do mul­ti­ple things for mul­ti­ple peo­ple. They’re at 400 peo­ple; I’d like to stay at 60-ish for as long as hu­manly pos­si­ble, be­cause right now one of my folks who works at the stu­dio told me this feels like the Gears 1 vibe all over again. We’re a small-to-medium-sized stu­dio, we feel like a fam­ily, and we’re mak­ing a whole new IP on this new plat­form to­gether. That’s a pretty cool feel­ing to have.

You’ve dropped the free-to-play model now – what are your plans for the game?

We’re big fans of Counter-Strike: GO – you pay a small fee that’s like a cover charge at a bar. Every­body’s in there be­cause they want to be in there, and then they have a mi­cro­trans­ac­tion sys­tem for cos­met­ics that’s ac­tu­ally kind of fun with the keys and crates. So for us, $20 to $40, that kind of range is what we’re think­ing – what I call an im­pulse-buy price – and then have a cos­metic sys­tem within that. I think that’s the best of both worlds for that kind of mid­dle-tier game. As great as I think Evolve and Ti­tan­fall were, I just don’t think they should have been $60 games. And then to put DLC on top of that… I know why they do it: be­cause they want to keep the lights on. But gamers gen­er­ally tend to smell that and back away a lit­tle bit.

So, having sam­pled re­tire­ment, are you now plan­ning to work un­til you die?

I love cre­at­ing worlds. I al­ready have a cou­ple of other game ideas I want to get around to do­ing, maybe dab­ble in VR a bit some­where down the line, too. Eighty-five per cent of LawBreak­ers is locked at this point – it’s not like we’re go­ing to sud­denly turn into a di­nosaur-hunt­ing sur­vival craft­ing game at this point. Once the game gets into live ops, I’ll cer­tainly be giv­ing my feed­back and a lot of my de­sign sense to it, but cre­atively the IP is more or less the IP. And I’m al­ready won­der­ing about what the next world is. It’s the thing that gets me out of bed in the morn­ing, the cre­ation of new worlds – just pulling all th­ese new ideas out of my butt, and pitch­ing it to a con­cept artist and then see­ing an im­age that was in my head on the screen.

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