Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski has said that even given freedom from financial constraints to build his dream game, he wouldn’t just open a huge development studio and go in guns blazing.
“I would want to get back to the triple-A space eventually, but the last thing I would want to do – and no offense meant to Curt Schilling [38 Studios] and John Romero [Ion Storm] – is to do what those guys did. ‘Let’s throw 300 bodies at it! Sure, we’ll just make it work!’” Bleszinski told VentureBeat when asked about the possibility of founding his own development team.
“That’s the equivalent of taking a garage band and having them play Wembley Stadium on day one. You have to learn how to work with people. You find that some people don’t work out and then you get a new drummer, so to speak. You iterate, and you find the voice of the team. It’s very similar to building a sports club or building a rock band.”
Both 38 Studios and Ion Storm went broke, the latter despite producing several critically-acclaimed games and housing some of the most respected talent in the industry.
Thanks to his financial success so far, Bleszinski is “semi-retired” and has time to think about what he wants to do next rather than run off to a new employer. In fact, he could even begin forging the heart of his super team.
“What I can afford to do is get a small team of contractors on board and start iterating on a few things here and there,” he admitted.
“Even if I had a publisher tomorrow who said, “Hey, Cliff, here’s $50 million dollars; go make your dream game,” I’d still only ramp up with a handful of people. I’d prototype defined goals and a number of assumptions that I thought would be cool as far as what kind of game I’d want to make.
“Only until I had something that was actually playable. Then, once you have that goal, you start dumping amazing talent onto it. Then you start ramping up quickly. But before you do that, if you have a full team, you’re just wasting money.”
But a team would have to happen eventually, if Bleszinski is to return to the triple-A sphere he likes so much.
“I’m a pretty smart designer who has a good sense and a good track record, but unless I’m surrounding myself with my Avengers, I’m useless,” he said.
“I would need a ninja producer. I would need a ninja president for the company. I’d need a ninja lead programmer. All these people who would help supplement what I would want to do. Building that team would not be easy.”
Bleszinski has been wooed by a number of companies, and said elsewhere in the interview that he’s not sure he wants the responsibility of employees.