Turns out Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski’s mysterious tease about the future of his flopped FPS LawBreakers may have been a bit premature. Two weeks ago, he tweeted “Just got a text from my lawyers about… LawBreakers. Stay tuned” (before launching into a rant against people who “were rooting for the game to fail”), implying some kind of return for the now long-dead game. It’s now looking like that was based on a misunderstanding of who holds the game’s rights in 2023—a more recent tweet says “Well, turns out Nexon does own the rights to LawBreakers.” before appealing to Nexon’s CEO to DM him about a resurrection.
Nexon retaining the rights makes sense—they published the game when it originally launched in 2017. What’s less clear is what incentive they’d have to bring back LawBreakers. Though it reviewed well (we gave it a very respectable 84%), it was a desperate flop commercially and ultimately killed Bleszinski’s studio Boss Key Productions, making it a pretty unsafe bet. And he’s not even offering to head up this hypothetical revival—he wants a 3rd party to work on it and hire him as a consultant. Which seems to me to be less of a business proposal and more like me wondering aloud whether Ubisoft might like to pay me for my ‘Assassin’s Creed during the Dutch tulip mania’ outline.
Bleszinski seems to be well and truly done with helming new projects himself, at least for now—he went on to say he’s “kinda over the whole making games thing for a while”, describing being CEO of a studio or lead designer on a project as “exhausting”. Honestly, fair enough. He certainly seems to be keen on this consulting idea, though—for a while now he’s been telling The Coalition they should pay him to tell them things like what camera angles to use in the new Gears of War games. They do not seem to have taken him up on this offer.
These days he seems to be keeping busy with projects outside of games, including most recently a comic about dogs fighting for justice in a dystopian future, but also a memoir released in 2022, and, surprisingly, a couple of theatre productions on which he acted as investor and producer.
One last interesting tidbit from Bleszinski’s tweets: apparently Squanch Games, creators of High on Life, may own the rights, assets, or both to his short-lived 80s-themed battle royale Radical Heights, acquired when Boss Key Productions was shutting down. Why did they pick it up? Your guess is as good as mine—the only connection I can see is that Squanch Games founder Justin Roiland had a voice role in LawBreakers, and perhaps had an affection for the studio or Bleszinski himself. Whatever the truth, a Radical Heights revival is still probably one of the few things even less likely than LawBreakers coming back—somewhere below Nintendo buying Activision and above cats spontaneously learning how to speak.