Ryan Cleven cites “person issues” as the reason for an “extended sabbatical”.
The Coalition’s Gears 5 is still chugging along, receiving new updates like the recent Operation 3 – Gridiron. However, it remains to be seen what else is in the pipeline especially with multiplayer designer Ryan Cleven announcing his departure from the studio. On Twitter, Cleven said that “personal issues” have prevented him from continuing “to work the way that I have.”
“I hope you are enjoying Gridiron. It’s my favourite Gears experience to date, and it will also be my last with the Coalition. I am taking an extended sabbatical. When I return, it won’t be to Gears.
“The last six years have been amazing. Gears 4 and 5 have been the highlight of my development career, but those six years have also taken a toll. Due to personal issues, I can’t continue to work the way that I have, I need time for myself. With the departure of my mentor, Rod Fergusson, it’s given me an opportunity to reevaluate my priorities. While I will forever miss Gears, it’s time to pass the torch.”
Fergusson, who led The Coalition when it was first formed after Microsoft acquired the Gears of War IP, left the studio in February to join Blizzard Entertainment. He’s currently overseeing the Diablo series with the latest game Diablo 4 currently in development. As for Cleven’s replacement, more details will likely be provided in the coming weeks.
Gears 5 is currently available for Xbox One and PC. Check out our review here. Despite criticism against the current approach with multiplayer and monetization, the title has done fairly well for itself. It had over three million players in its opening weekend and even outsold its predecessor according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer.
I hope you're enjoying Operation 3: Gridiron. It's been my favourite to work on and is closer to how I wished we'd launched. It's also my last with TC & Gears. Due to personal issues, I'll be going on sabbatical indefinitely. Thanks for joining me on this journey. See you online. pic.twitter.com/j8uev2RBOS
— Ryan Cleven (@nodezero) March 31, 2020