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‘Gears of War’ Creator Cliff Bleszinski Shuts Boss Key Studio

Lawbreakers” and “Radical Heights” studio Boss Key Productions is “effectively no more,” according to co-founder Cliff Bleszinski. He shared the news on Twitter Monday.

Boss Key’s first game, an online shooter called “Lawbreakers,” came out in August 2017 to generally favorable reviews but failed to grow a strong player base. Two months after launch, it reportedly had a concurrent player count of only 10. Publisher Nexon blamed its poor performance on the explosive popularity of battle royale title “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” claiming it made the market environment very tough for first-person shooters in general.

Boss Key announced in April it was halting development on “Lawbreakers” and refocusing its efforts on its own battle royale game, “Radical Heights.” But, Bleszinski said today it wasn’t enough to save the studio.

“Four years ago, I set out to make a world-class video game studio and I hired some of the best talent in the video game industry,” he wrote. “They worked tirelessly to produce quality products and, while we had our ups and downs, I’d like to think we had fun doing it. ‘Lawbreakers’ was a great game that unfortunately failed to gain traction, and in a last-ditch attempt we scrambled to do our take on the huge battle royale genre with ‘Radical Heights’ which was well-received, however, it was a little too late.”

Bleszinski said he’s now going to take some time off and reflect. “I need to focus on myself and family as well as my Aussie, Teddy, who is slowly fading from us. Video games will forever be a part of who I am and I hope to make something new again someday, however, I need to withdraw and take this time.”

Bleszinski added “Radical Heights'” servers will remain open “for the near future.”

Bleszinski started his career at Epic Games in the 1990s. He’s known for his work on the “Gears of War” and “Unreal” series. He left Epic in 2012 and co-founded Boss Key two years later. Bleszinski did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.

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