The lead designer of the original "Gears of War" trilogy Cliff "CliffyB" Bleszinski opened up in a recent interview on IGN's Unfiltered web show about the sale of the third-party exclusive title to Microsoft in 2014.

Bleszinski had been designing a first-person shooter within the "Unreal" universe when he came up with the original concept behind "Gears of War." The Unreal 3 engine had provided the graphics for the detailed character models he had come up with and the success of "Resident Evil 4" encouraged him to continue working on the story. He stated that he was still proud of the work he had done for the characters of Maria and Dom.

The sale of the title came two years after he had taken a sabbatical from the gaming industry. Bleszinski wasn't the only person to have left Epic Games before the sale of "Gears of War." Producer Rod Ferguson and Gameplay Designer Lee Perry had both left the studio. Bleszinski commented that the studio "didn't know what to do with the franchise" after all three of them had left.

At that point, Epic Games hadn't released a new title and even though their Unreal Engine was generating strong sales, the studio may have needed the cash. "Fortnite" hadn't been created and the Epic Games Store hadn't been launched yet either.

Bleszinski also commented that the only one to reach out to him after the sale was Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox. He described Spencer as a "gentleman and a scholar."

Bleszinski theorized that Epic Games used the money from the sale to develop "Fortnite," which has gone on to become one of the largest games not only in the studio's history but in the history of gaming.

Bleszinski did return to the gaming industry in 2015 with Boss Key Productions. The failed "lawbreakers" was launched in 2017 and led to the eventual closing of Boss Key Productions in 2019.

Bleszinski also just released his autobiography, "Control Freak: My Epic Adventure Making Video Games."