Monday, June 30, 2014

Why the hate for Cliff Bleszinski?

With that Tweet sparked a whole new onslaught of hatred for Cliff Bleszinski and I have never really understood why. When he left gaming back in 2012 people seemed to have one of two reactions. Some were saying good riddance and thought the guy needed to go for whatever silly reason they had. The other group of people were hoping like hell it was temporary because they recognized that the guy was a very talented designer. I am sure there were people in the middle ground as well, but like usual they didn't speak up because they were doing more constructive things with their lives than analyzing the coming and going of Cliff Bleszinski from the gaming industry.

I decided to get to the bottom of why people seem to hate on Cliffy B. Naturally I started with Google. I googled the phrase "I hate Cliff Bleszinki." It seemed like the logical place to start. I was pleasantly surprised. The guy was hating on Cliff because he is crazy fortunate. He hates him for two main reasons. The first is that the guy clearly had an awesome job. He gets to make video games for a living. How sick is that!? The second reason was due to the fact that his girlfriend is incredibly attractive! Seriously take a look at Lauren Bleszinksi. Cliff you magnificent bastard. Eye humping aside she is also a gamer which is why I am sure Cliff and her get along so well. Much envy from this guy.

OK, sorry I went on a tangent there. Why in the hell do people hate on Cliff Bleszinki!? Even the first search I found was hating on him for being so damn awesome. Lets keep digging. Did he piss someone off? My search brought me to a Gamespot forum thread entitled "Why does everyone hate Cliff Bleszinki?"

First response was:

"I like Cliff. I respect his knowledge of the industry."


"I like Cliffy B and respect him a lot. He knows a lot about the industry and knows what gamers want in a great game. People hate him cus he dresses nice... so what? Mad props to him."

Uh, third time is a charm?:

"I dont know why but he reminds me of John Romero. But yeah i dont really have a reason to hate him. He made Gears for christ sake. One of the best games ever made. Do people hat John Carmack? Alex Seropian? No. Is it because people dont like Gears or something?"

Well what the hell!? Does anyone actually hate Cliff Bleszinki or was I imagining everything? Seems like the two searches I found first of "I hate Cliff Bleszinki" were people talking about how they have no reason to hate the man. Where in the hell does this hate come from!?

In that same forum thread there was one reply that stood out. That was the following:

"I like his constant enthusiasm. He's worked in the industry for almost twenty years and he knows what he's doing. People just hate him because he's actually a cool person and not some secluded nerd."

Let me get this straight. People dislike him for being a gamer that doesn't....act like a stereotypical gamer? That makes so little sense to me and it is hardly a reason to hate the guy if you ask me!  Certainly there must be more to this story.  I kept scrolling on through the thread until I found this:

"The responses is this thread is part of the reason. The unanimous love for a guy that has created mediocre games that gamers who consider themselves HARDCORE love. Both Gears and Bulletstorm are rip-offs of other games and not original ideas. They are fun games but not among the greatest games of all time. His knowledge I respect but his persona is annoying and he is cocky, that is unquestionable."

For starters I could not disagree more with the notion that Gears of War is a ripoff.  That is ludicrous.  So maybe that was the guys central point, but what I read is that people hate him--because so many love him because he made them happy with fun games?  He is literally hated for doing the only thing he has ever done for 20 years?  That doesn't make any sense!  Honestly at this point I still do not understand why Cliff Bleszinki is so hated by gamers, but I have to know so I will keep digging.  I am going to abandon the Gamespot thread and move on to somewhere else entirely.  Onward to Giantbomb!

Ok at this point I did find one thing that might have pissed off a lot of people.  He flat out said he hates the PS3 controller in like 2008.  He stated his opinion and with gamers that is never a good thing. Especially when you are saying you like one side more than the other--even if it is just the controller.  So there is one reason why some people may hate him--although you never hear that being the reason.  At least I haven't heard people hating him for that.

With today's announcement from Cliff I put up posts about it on both the /r/ps4 and /r/xboxone Reddits.  I figured I would surely hear about the hate then.  I was not disappointed in any way.  The hate was flowing heavily, but more from the /r/ps4 side of things.  Which might make sense when you consider that Cliff has always been a developer for Xbox over Playstation.  Not exactly sure why you would hate someone for that reason alone though, but in this crazy stupid world it is certainly not impossible.  Moving right along though I did run into another article that may contribute to the persona Cliff Bleszinski has and why people seem to hate on him so much.

Destructoid back in September of 2011 did an interview with Cliff in which he went off on sites, one being Eurogamer for giving Gears of War 3 an 8 out of 10 sore.  He said some things that made it sound like the game was entitled to great scores from every site.  The game did do very well, but there were a few sites that rated it a little lower and I guess that is where he got upset.  OK, so maybe Cliff Bleszinki has a bit of an ego.  In his defense though he puts in years of time on one game it is easy to understand why he would become attached to it and want it to do as best as it possible can when it comes to reviews.

Just to recap so far.  The two major noticeable reasons why people would hate on him are:
  • Develops games primarily on the Xbox One at the time.
  • Has a bit of an ego about him.  Comes across as entitled.
After digging around a bit I can say that--yes, Cliff Bleszinki does have a bit of an ego which he has displayed on multiple occasions.  So if people want to hate someone based on ego alone there is validity to that if you choose to judge someone in that way. 

After digging around--a LOT--I can honestly say that I have no damn clue why so many people seem to hate the guy.  He speaks his mind, he doesn't speak in politically correct terms and he often says what so many other people are thinking and just do not have the spine to say.  I do not see a problem with that.  I can understand why people dislike that sort of attitude, but it just does not explain the outright hate that I have seen on Twitter and Reddit since he announced that he is coming back to game design.

Sorry to let you down, but there is not reason for people to hate Cliff Bleszinki as much as they seem to.  Ego alone is not a reason to think someone is a complete asshole.  The hatred of Cliff seems to be little more than the usual internet circlejerk that happens all the time.  

Happy hating, haters!


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