Gears of War creator discusses scrapped FPS Alien game

Gears of War creator discusses scrapped FPS Alien game
20th Century Fox | The Coalition

Written by 

Tom Chapman


27th Oct 2023 16:19

In another edition of great games we'll never get to see, it turns out that Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski was once working on an ambitious Alien game. It's true, the man behind the Locust Horde could've had us blasting Xenomorph butt in the cold depths of space. 

Having started working on The Palace of Deceit at the age of 15, the game became Cliffy B's first release and was the start of a pretty 'epic' career. Obviously, the highlight was developing the first three Gears of War titles for Epic Games. However, in some other reality, he was taking on another alien adventure.

Cliff Bleszinski discusses his cancelled Alien game

Aliens Ripley and Alien Isolation
Click to enlarge
20th Century Fox | Creative Assemble

After leaving Epic, Bleszinski founded Boss Key Productions and didn't exactly hit it big with LawBreakers or Radical Heights, but what if he got to tackle the Alien IP? Speaking to, Bleszinski explained what could've been, what nearly was, and what went wrong.

According to Bleszinski, his Alien first-person shooter was actually an Aliens game, taking influence from James Cameron's 1986 sci-fi sequel to Ridley Scott's original movie from 1979. Here, the character of Newt (played by Carrie Henn in Aliens) was going to be navigating Weyland-Yutani labs on Earth.

As well as giving us some serious Half-Life vibes, there was a touch of Halo, as a presumably older Newt would be guided by an AI Ellen Ripley as something of a Cortana-inspired character. Sadly, Bleszinski's high hopes were dashed by Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox in 2019.

Cliffy B loves Aliens

Newt in Aliens 1986
Click to enlarge
20th Century Fox

Expanding on the scrapped Alien FPS, Bleszinski said, "I'm friends with a guy named Aaron Loeb, who wound up working at Warner Brothers. I worked with him on Unreal 2. He approached me and said, 'I have an IP that you might want to [work on].'

"I've always been a staunch believer in making my own worlds and my own IPs. I was like, 'Okay, there's only two IPs that I would ever consider working on that weren't ones that I made by myself. Firefly/Serenity or The Aliens franchise.' And basically we were in talks to do it."

Hyping the idea, Bleszinski said that when he pitched it, the team said, "f**k yeah," suggesting we could've been onto a winner. He sadly concluded, "Of course the House of Mouse had to kick in the door and f**k everything up, which was one of the many cascading failures that led to the failure of Boss Key."

Saying he was depressed for a year after Boss Key crumbled, Bleszinski still loves the Alien name: "Aliens will always be near and dear to my heart. The first one is such a perfect movie about suspense. The second one is suspense, but also the ultimate action movie."

Aside from Alien: Isolation, the wild history of Alien games has tragically been littered with more failures than wins. Bleszinski's Alien game sounds like it would've been another gun-toting jaunt like Gears, but for all we know, it could've been another disaster like Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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