Bleszinski: next-gen console winner will embrace “connectivity, sharing, user content”

Saturday, 11th May 2013 20:55 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

When in comes to next-gen systems, Cliff Bleszinski feels Sony’s really embraced the indie and sharing scenes, and he’s really interested in what Microsoft has to show on May 21.

Speaking with Engadget in a wide-ranging interview, Bleszinski feels that other than better graphics, console manufacturers “who get it” will succeed if connectivity and user content is embraced.

“I think those who get it with the next generation will get the idea of connectivity and sharing and allowing the user to build the content,” he said. “I have a very good relationship with Microsoft, but [there are] a lot of TCRs you’d have to go through, all the stuff you’d have to go through to get your game on Xbox Live Arcade, or even issue updates on; it was a nightmare.

“They just announced that they’re doing some sort of presser with some of their future plans. I’m curious to hear some of them because it feels like Sony’s embraced a lot of that vibe thus far, as far as indie games go and whatnot. I feel like Sony’s really embraced that vibe, and [the] homebrewed and homegrown movement that’s really taken over, and what a cool thing that somebody in his garage made as a mod that is going to go viral tomorrow.

“Somebody I think posted a video at the top of Reddit of somebody [doing] a 50-limo race in Just Cause 2 and it was hilarious. Bugs notwithstanding, there’s a direct correlation between how great your game is and how many viral videos it can make. Honestly, whoever embraces that for this next generation of games on console is going to win.

“The other thing about next-generation consoles and whatever wins is it’s not just about having the better hardware; it’s also about what your ecosystem is. I mean, once you announce next-generation consoles, that’s pretty much [the start of] the death toll for people playing whatever generation is out there right now — because of a lot of us core gamers will not buy what’s out there right now because they’re saving their dollars for what’s coming next.

“Releasing a next-generation console into the upcoming market is still a decent risk because there are, like I said, more platforms than ever. Am I going to want another dedicated box? I’ll play the hell out of it, but will it catch fire? I don’t know if we’ll ever see the same level of success that the PlayStation 2 saw, which is one of the number-one-selling consoles of all time. So it’s a very risky endeavor right now. I’ll still check it out and play it.

“This generation’s ending with a whimper, not a bang, it feels like.”

Bleszinski also feels indies are using Kickstarter not only for funding their game, but just as as much for the community aspect and the PR which automatically comes from it.

“People don’t recognize Kickstarter is only one-third about the money. It’s also about the community; you get it instantly built and the PR marketing you get. You have “boom.” People invested their money, and now they care. They’re reading your updates,” he said.

“Here’s the thing about crowdsourcing and Kickstarter: I’ve mentioned this before, but I enjoy reiterating because it’s important to me. There was this controversial thing where there was a woman who was allegedly a millionaire or multi-millionaire, and she wanted to kick-start some money for her nine-year-old daughter for her to do her own video game and things like that.

“And the internet of course attacks her, and there was probably some weird misogynistic, you know, purpose behind it: ‘How dare she ask for crowdfunding money? She’s already a millionaire.’ And yet at the same time, nobody gets mad at Richard Garriott when he asked for a million dollars to do an Ultima-style game when he’s the guy who spent $30 million to go to space. And I love Richard, and I think he’s brilliant and he’s one of my development heroes.”

The interview can be read in full through the link, and it covers quite a few other subjects such as his investment in Oculus Rift, why he never developed games for Nintendo (“They never called.”), his opinion regarding “always on” amid the SimCity connection fiasco, and many many other things.



  1. noamlol2

    microsoft new logo is really out of place…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Templar_Dante

    Jazz Jackrabbit
    Gears 1
    Gears 2
    Gears 3

    Why should we take his opinion seriously again?

    #2 2 years ago
  3. The_Red

    Actually, he wasn’t really responsible for Bulletstorm. It was produced by Epic but People Can Fly developed it. Also that is why Bulletstorm is better than all the games mentioned above (except for maybe Jazz).

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Francis O

    The next gen console winner will have the best games that attract the most amount of users.

    A large majority of people who play Madden or COD don’t give a F*ck about sharing content and stuff. They just want to play their game and get on with their life.

    Wii was the most successful because Nintendo embraced bringing in new customers. The Xbox 360 has been very successful because of Kinect. Bringing in new consumers with dancing games.

    Out of the PS4, Xbox 720, and Wii U, whoever can get the most of the expanded consumers to purchase the system will “win”

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Lengendaryboss

    Those new customers were most likely families/casual crowd which is an easy target for the Big Three to chase after.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. hitnrun


    “A large majority of people who play Madden or COD don’t give a F*ck about sharing content and stuff. They just want to play their game and get on with their life.”

    And funnily enough, the people who play JRPGs and indie games are the same way.

    Bleszinski, unsurprisingly, has the cart before the horse. The winner of the next console gen will be – or rather, would be – the team that makes people give a flying futz about sharing and liking. Most likely, that will be nobody. That crap is a way of monetizing existing social networks, not something anyone has actually sought out in five years. Bleszinski sounds like a prophet from 2005.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. CPC_RedDawn


    You guys are right, but what you have to realize is that a lot of those casual gamers have now fled from home consoles and are playing games on their PC’s (facebook, indie games, etc), or they are playing free games on their Iphones, Android phones, and tablets where they get that quick and easy pick up and play feeling with Wii and Kinect games but for a much much less price and that price is mostly free. These games also have sharing/connectivity as well such as challenging friends/family on integrated social networks. This is one of the biggest and most booming gaming markets around now. If one of these console embraced say the android market place and had a smaller premium for the actual console then it might catch those millions of casual gamers who would love to play their freemium games on the go on their devices then come home and pick up a controller and continue where they left off. Then they would realize that they had a better choice of games on said console with the likes of Killzone, Uncharted, Halo, COD, etc.

    I will be buying a PS4 at launch as I am a gamer and I prefer the exclusives that Sony offer over Microsoft (this might change come May 21st though). I will pick up a WiiU down the line when they are cheaper and have the Mario and Zelda games I love too. But Microsoft just seem too focused on the mass market side of things, its as if they are trying to appeal to too many demographics and honestly they can’t please everyone. They will end up alienating a certain group of people and by the looks of it that group will be gamers as they seemed too focused on the TV/Cable side of things and the Kinect side of things. May 21st can’t come soon enough though, I want Microsoft to put their cards on the table and prove to us what they have been working on is worthwhile.

    There is only one winner in the long run, and that is us, the consumer. We have so much to choose from and it is pretty funny seeing these billion dollar companies scramble for our attention and money.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Mjorh

    Casual gamers piss me off!

    Btw i’m with CPC_RedDawn in this . the large group of people are playing free(or 1$) bullshit indie games n there are lots of money n marketing in that department.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Djoenz


    Wisely spoken sir. I couldnt agree more.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. SlayerGT

    “This generation’s ending with a whimper, not a bang, it feels like.”

    This fellas must not own a Playstation 3 me thinks.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Shuklar

    @10 – Yeah, he definitely needs to look into The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls

    #11 2 years ago
  12. ps3fanboy

    @10 agree… i guess this guy is usa based and are up mickey$oft arse… because the ps3 will go out with a bang this gen. you must be pretty blind not to see that…

    #12 2 years ago
  13. SlayerGT

    @11 Right? The Last of Us, Beyond Two Souls, Puppeteer, GT6..I wish I had this guys time and money. I’m also looking at EDF, Splinter Cell, and god knows GTAV. Actually I don’t think there are any bigger “bangs” then GTA. I don’t know why I read these articles. Maybe he only plays shooters..

    #13 2 years ago
  14. _LarZen_

    I see the Keyboard Warriors are here.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. ps3fanboy

    @14 nintendo fanboys like you are no match for the ‘f12′ key…

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Erthazus

    Console fanboys know Blezinski for Gears Of War and Jazz Jackrabbit and someone even thought that he made Bulletstorm…

    Wow… Speechless. No wonder why we get mainstream shit in our games…

    #16 2 years ago
  17. SlayerGT

    @16 Yeah its funny he didn’t think his own franchise, out this year, was going out with a bang??

    #17 2 years ago

    A large majority of people who play Madden or COD don’t give a F*ck about sharing content and stuff.

    Oh wow.

    There are hardly any games more focused than CoD and FIFA on connectivity and sharing user content.

    Right now (at least in my region), the most popular gaming vids on YouTube are Minecraft, then Black Ops II, then FIFA, then Black Ops.

    You clearly have zero idea about these games if you think that the people who play them don’t like sharing their experiences.

    In fact, connectivity and sharing are pretty much the ONLY reasons why these two games are so popular in the first place!

    Here in the KSA, the most popular YouTube vids are as described above. In the UK, they are: Mincraft, then FIFA, then Black Ops II, then Black Ops. Same games, slightly different order.

    I can’t check the US or any other region from here, but I wouldn’t expect to see much difference.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Richenbaum

    Arguably, every console generation ends with a “whimper” though. The closer you get to the end the more the companies start moving away from the current gen to concentrate on their next gen efforts. It’s nothing new. Doesn’t mean there are zero good new games until then either.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Digital Bamboo

    To say that this gen is ending with a whimper is a pretty ridiculous statement on Blezinski’s part, considering all the big games dropping this year.

    As for his other comments, meh, he may be right about the majority of players, though personally, I don’t care a great deal about connectivity or sharing, or expect to see MS or Sony allow much in the way of user content.

    Also, while I don’t entirely agree with it, I did enjoy his use of the phrase “death toll” probably more than I should have, for its double meaning…considering the games he’s worked on…just me? Ok.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. ScouseSte

    Think you’ll find hes made all this as well Templar or credit with some input on them.

    Video games [edit]
    Gears of War: Judgment (2013), Microsoft Game Studios
    Gears of War 3 (2011), Microsoft Game Studios[7]
    Bulletstorm (2011), Electronic Arts
    Lost Planet 2 (2010), CE Europe Ltd.[7]
    Fat Princess (2009), Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc.[7]
    Shadow Complex (2009), Microsoft Game Studios[7]
    Gears of War 2 (2008), Microsoft Game Studios[7]
    Unreal Tournament III (2007), Midway Home Entertainment, Inc.[7]
    Gears of War (2006), Microsoft Game Studios[7]
    Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (2005), Ubisoft, Inc.[7]
    Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict (2005), Midway Home Entertainment, Inc.[7]
    Unreal Tournament 2004 (2004), Atari, Inc.[7]
    Devastation (2003), HD Interactive B.V.[7]
    Jazz Jackrabbit (2002), Jaleco Entertainment, Inc.[7]
    Unreal Championship (2002), Infogrames, Inc.[7]
    Unreal Tournament 2003 (2002), Infogrames, Inc.[7]
    Unreal Tournament (Game of the Year Edition) (2000), Infogrames, Inc.[7]
    Jazz Jackrabbit 2: The Secret Files (1999), Gathering, Project Two Interactive BV[7]
    Tyrian 2000 (1999), XSIV Games[7]
    Unreal Tournament (1999), GT Interactive Software Corp.[7]
    Jazz Jackrabbit 2 (1998), Gathering, Project Two Interactive BV[7]
    Unreal (1998), GT Interactive Software Corp.[7]
    Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare 1995 (1995), Epic MegaGames, Inc.[7]
    Tyrian (1995), Epic MegaGames, Inc.[7]
    Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare 1994 (1994), Epic MegaGames, Inc.[7]
    Jazz Jackrabbit CD-ROM (1994), Epic MegaGames, Inc.[7]
    Jazz Jackrabbit (1994), Epic MegaGames, Inc.[7]
    Dare to Dream Volume One: In a Darkened Room (1993), Epic MegaGames, Inc.[7]
    The Palace of Deceit: the Dragon’s Plight (1992), Game Syndicate Productions[7]

    #21 2 years ago
  22. pwnftw

    Just FYI, the whole “Xbox Infinity” thing was a hoax.

    #22 2 years ago

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