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Bleszinski reckons Epic is trying to steal Boss Key staff

Bleszinski reckons Epic is trying to steal Boss Key staff

Development veteran Cliff Bleszinski has claimed that software and engine maker Epic is trying to nick his staff.

Taking Twitter (below) - as spotted by Ars Technica - the Boss Key boss publicly asked Epic to stop trying to hire his team. Furthermore, the developer says that the team is "really happy" with how the launch of Radical Heights has gone.

There's no word on who the firm is meant to be poaching, but this does follow Boss Key studio co-founder Arjan Brussee leaving to go work at Epic.

We've reached out to Epic for comment.

Bleszinski himself used to work at Epic, having joined the firm in 1992 and staying on until 2013. After a brief retirement, the developer returned, founding Boss Key Productions.

The outfit's first project was team shooter LawBreakers which failed to gain any traction. At the start of April, the developer announced it was no longer working on that title and days later revealed its next project: free-to-play battle royale game Radical Heights.

Speaking to PCGamesInsider, creative director Zach Lowery said that the studio has taken away a number of lessons from its experiences with LawBreakers.

Bleszinski also said in a follow-up tweet that there was room for more than one title in a genre, presumably a reference to the competition between Epic's Fortnite and Radical Heights.

Update: Epic has declined to comment on the story, but one of the employees who made the leap from Boss Key to the Unreal Engine firm has publicly responded to Bleszinski's accusations. 

On Twitter, senior programmer William McCarroll saying that the Boss Key boss' appraisal of the situation was pretty poor.

"With all due respect, assuming that Epic is the one starting contact / poaching is a bit presumptuous," he said.

"We all had our own reasons for making the choice to leave BKP for Epic, and to act like we are commodities being stolen is a bit hurtful. We are people first and foremost."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.