Cliff Bleszinski Provides Details on Concepts For Pitched Boss Key Games

Ceria Alfonso
May 16, 2018

Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski's studio, Boss Key, has closed its doors. The developer of LawBreakers and Radical Heights "is no more", and he's taking a break from the video games industry.

Interestingly, he took some time to talk about three scrapped video games projects he and his development team pitched to multiple publishers, which were unfortunately refused for several reasons we'll see later. A spiritual successor to Toobin for VR, Donuts was an arcade-style racing that would have had you playing as animals. He added, "You could drink (ginger) beer for health, crush cans on your head, or shake up full ones for AOE attacks". In this game, players would be battling other players in massive DOGs, Destructive Ordinance (on the) Ground, while trying to stay safe from the toxic air that inhabited the world. It aimed to offer a PvE experience set in a "feudalpunk" world on floating islands.

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The second idea was for a VR game that was codenamed "Rover" and changed to "DogWalkers" later in concept. "Basically do for dragon riding what Halo did for vehicles", he said. Dragons would have essentially been the primary way players moved around the world and could be customized or hatched from other eggs found in the world. Any leaks in the massive walker would need to be fixed, so players would have to use gas masks, patch holes, and even rappel outside to fix issues with the mech. While the studio had loads of talent and passion, its games were never able to gain any traction with fans. At least a couple of the projects above would have commanded a budget of at least $40 million, not seen as cheap in the eyes of publishers. "You pitch something and the response is often "too similar to something we have or out there so no" or "this is too unique so we can't do a proper financial model for it", he suggested. Bleszinski went on to say that as a business owner, he certainly respects that decision, but as a creative, it was incredibly frustrating.

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