Microsoft has bought the Gears of War franchise from developer Epic Games and plans to develop future titles for Xbox One.
(Credit: Epic Games)
Microsoft's Black Tusk Studios will take over development of the Gears of War franchise following its purchase — which includes all existing and future Gears of War titles — from developer Epic Games.
The move includes hiring former Epic Games director of production Rod Fergusson. Fergusson, as of October last year, was set to head up a new studio for 2K Marin, working on a new project after departing Irrational Games, which he joined in 2012 after the release of Gears of War 3.
Fergusson will be working alongside Black Tusk general manager Hanno Lemke.
"The Gears of War franchise has a very strong, passionate and valued fan base on Xbox," explained Microsoft's Phil Spencer. "Over 22 million units have been sold across all Gears of War titles worldwide, grossing over US$1 billion. This franchise, and these fans, are part of the soul of Xbox. By acquiring this franchise, Microsoft Studios will continue to offer them more of their favourite games and entertainment experiences from the Gears of War universe."
The acquisition means very little change for Gears of War fans, beyond the news that the series will continue: the games were always Xbox and Windows exclusive, and there's every chance the games will continue to be developed for PC as well as Xbox — although we'll have to wait a bit longer to see the direction Black Tusk Studios, which has not yet shipped a title, is taking the series.
"I'm extremely excited to be joining Black Tusk Studios to oversee development on the Gears of War franchise," Fergusson said. "I've been privileged to work on a lot of great games with a lot of great teams, but Gears has had the most impact on me professionally and personally, so this really feels like a homecoming. I can't wait to share more with you all soon."