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Gears of War creator's new game company just imploded

Boss Key Productions' first game was a flop. Its second was too little, too late. Now, company founder Cliff Bleszinski says the game studio is closing its doors.

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Boss Key Productions

When the creator of the iconic Gears of War franchise said he was coming out of retirement to create video games that harkened back to chaos of classic arena-shooters like Unreal Tournament, Cliff Bleszinski had the gaming industry's attention. "CliffyB," as he was called by fans, had over two decades of experience making AAA games and a vision to revive a kind of fast-paced competitive first persons shooters that hadn't existed in years.

Now, that dream is dead. Today on Twitter, the game designer announced that his new company, Boss Key Productions, "is effectively no more."

Despite early excitement, it's an ending almost everyone saw coming.

Lawbreakers, the company's first game, flopped almost immediately after launch, completely failing to build the dedicated player base necessary to survive - despite having a relatively strong showing at E3 2017. "Lawbreakers was a great game that unfortunately failed to gain traction," Bleszinski explained on Twitter. Team-based shooters just weren't in anymore: large scale Battle Royale games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds were. The company tried to pivot.

"In a last ditch attempt we scrambled to do our own take on the huge battle royale genre with Radical Heights," he says, "However, it was too little, too late."

The game designer says he's going to take some time off and reflect on the last four years of his career, but Boss Key Productions is closing its doors. For now, however, the servers for Radical Heights will remain online.