Cliff Bleszinski and Saints Row Creative Director at the Escapist Expo

Cliff Bleszinski and Saints Row Creative Director at the Escapist Expo


The Escapist is happy to announce a metric crapton of talented speakers who will be gracing the panel stages at the Expo to talk about games.

The Escapist Expo is right around the corner - October 4th, 5th and 6th in Durham, NC. While there's a bunch of other conventions out there, the Escapist Expo is the only gaming event that will bring together a very special group of game makers, writers and designers both from local companies and across the nation. Sure, Yahtzee , Lisa Foiles and MovieBob will be on hand, not to mention Jim Sterling, the guys from No Right Answer and Gavin "Miracle of Sound" Dunne, but I'm really excited to pick the brains of game designers behind such illustrious franchises as Saints Row, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Rachet & Clank, and Guild Wars. Oh, and Cliff Bleszinski will be there. You know, from a little franchise you might have heard of called Gears of War.

These game designers will be able to discuss a huge variety of topics, from panels like "The Most Wonderful Games We Never Made" to "Why You Should Hate SimCity and Other Games that Ruined Your Life". You'll even be able to ask them questions in brief Q&A sessions after the panels on which they appear.

Buy your tickets to the Escapist Expo now! And hey, after you register why not sign up to be a volunteer? You might even get to meet one of the following folks. (No promises, but miracles can happen.)

Here's a short list of just some of the amazing game developers (trust me, there's more) who will be on panels at the Escapist Expo:

cliff bleszinski

Cliff Bleszinski
Video Game Designer and Industry Veteran

Former Epic Games Design Director Cliff Bleszinski, a 21-year veteran of the video game industry, shipped his first commercial title Jazz Jackrabbit before graduating high school. During his tenure at Epic, Cliff was a key visionary behind the award-winning, multimillion-selling Unreal game series and the billion-dollar Gears of War franchise, which has eclipsed 19 million copies sold worldwide and crossed over into novels, comics, film, action figures and merchandise. While at Epic Cliff also lent his creative expertise to Epic's games, such as Fortnite, ChAIR Entertainment's Infinity Blade series and multiple unannounced projects, and the scope of his work crossed over into other entertainment sectors as well. Bleszinski is currently on hiatus planning his next personal and professional moves.

richard dansky

Richard Dansky
Central Clancy Writer - Ubisoft/Red Storm

Writer, game designer and cad, Richard Dansky was named one of the Top 20 videogame writers in the world in 2009 by Gamasutra. His work includes bestselling games such as Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction, Far Cry, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: 3, Outland, and most recently, Splinter Cell: Blacklist. His writing has appeared in magazines ranging from The Escapist to Lovecraft Studies, as well as numerous anthologies. The author of six novels, he was a major contributor to White Wolf's World of Darkness setting, with credits on over a hundred RPG supplements. Richard lives in North Carolina with his wife, statistician and blogger Melinda Thielbar, and their amorphously large collections of books and single malt whiskys.

steve jaros

Steve Jaros
Creative Director, Volition - Lead Writer for Saints Row series

Over the past 9 years Steve's career has evolved from QA tester, to writer, to Creative Director. Having a life-long love of the absurd, Steve is thrilled that he has had the opportunity to be lead writer on every Saints Row title and in doing so work with some of the kindest and most talented members of the entertainment industry.

(Editor's Note: Mr. Jaros claims that he is cosplaying as Carman Sandiego in the picture he supplied to the right. I just wanted to make sure you knew that.)

randy greenback

Randy Greenback
Sr. Creative Director @ Relevant Games, formerly of Insomniac Games

Besides having a luxurious beard, Randy has over 18 years of professional experience in video game development, across PC, consoles, mobile and handhelds. He's a hands-on designer and creative leader who has contributed to major franchises including Command & Conquer, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, America's Army, Rachet & Clank, Breach & Clear, etc. He has worked for several game studios and publishers including Westwood Studios, Red Storm Entertainment, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Insomniac Games. Randy currently works for Relevant games, an E.W. Scripps & Capitol Broadcasting joint venture. He's a proud father of 3, a retro game collector, trivia master, dev mentor and is a staunch proponent of games for good.

bobby stein

Bobby Stein
Lead Writer at ArenaNet, Guild Wars

Bobby Stein leads a team of narrative designers and writers at ArenaNet, makers of the hit MMORPG Guild Wars 2. Together, he and his team craft Tyria's Living World narrative with semimonthly new adventures. Coffee helps.

And more!


Find out more about the Escapist Expo here. See you in Durham on October 4th, 5th and 6th!


Let's take bets on which Cliffy B shows up:

Insightful dev Cliffy
"Where's the party at" Cliffy
You should feel bad you don't like the terrible things a studio I don't work at is doing Cliffy

Sweet! Loved the stuff from the Expo (that was put up on the site, anyway), and these additions can only add to it! :D

I'm certainly intrigued to hear what one of the madmen that is involved with Saints Row has to say! And I'm always interested in what Cliffy B says, even if I don't necessarily agree with everything he says.

Good stuff all round!

Dang....As if I didn't already want to go. Stupid job and employment eating up all my time.

I actually like Cliffy B (and his panels are quite good) but its kind of an odd choice considering the opinion of the rest of the community here.

Please heckle the shit of that corporate toady Cliffy B for me please.

First, when did Gears of War cross over into film? Isn't it STILL in production

Second, while you guys are there, tell Cliff that the Gears franchise Epicly needs him to come back and save it.

Will there be a hugging scene between Jim and Cliff? Complete with manly tears and whatnot?

Just kidding, great lineup. looking forward to watching the recorded panels!

If only I could freaking go. Seriously, you guys are too far south.

I am not going, but I would love a picture of CliffyB pelted with tomatoes! Make sure they are always connected along with their DRM.

May all those that attend have superior aim!

I actually like Cliffy B (and his panels are quite good) but its kind of an odd choice considering the opinion of the rest of the community here.

i get the feeling its a bit like inviting Dawkins to attend your religious seminar.

at the very least you'll get an audience and some "copy"...

Cliffy B and Jim on one stage! Hugging and kissing and singing love rap songs! Make it happen!

Titling is funny. Cluffy B we wouldk now by name, saints row director - only by title without name. nice way to favour one person over the other ech?

If only I could freaking go. Seriously, you guys are too far south.

Too far south, heh. more like other side of the globe for some :(

Isn't Escapist base full of Cliff B haters?

Also, I still think Yahtzee Roast should be a thing at Expo. For irony's sake.


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