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Microsoft buys Gears of War franchise

Microsoft Studios has acquired the rights to the “Gears of War” franchise from Epic Games, including rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise. In addition, it has been announced that Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver, BC will take over development of the “Gears of War” franchise and that Rod Fergusson, former Director of Production at Epic Games on the “Gears of War” franchise, will join Microsoft and play a key studio leadership role at Black Tusk on the development of the franchise going forward. 

Here's a Q&A explaining more:

Why did Microsoft purchase the “Gears of War” franchise?

Phil Spencer: It all comes back to our commitment to Xbox fans. The “Gears of War” franchise has a very strong, passionate and valued fan base on Xbox. Over twenty-two million units have been sold across all “Gears of War” titles worldwide, grossing over $1B dollars (US). 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 favorite games and entertainment experiences from the “Gears of War” universe.

Why did Epic Games agree to this acquisition?

Hanno Lemke: Epic has been a tremendous partner to work with, and it has been a privilege for Microsoft to be Epic’s publishing partner and work together to achieve the phenomenal success of the “Gears of War” games. Epic remains great partners and good friends of Microsoft Studios. In fact we will collaborate closely with Epic to ensure the inclusion of the Unreal Engine technology into the “Gears of War” franchise going forward remains consistent with the high quality fans have come to expect from the franchise.

Why was an as-yet-unproven studio like Black Tusk chosen to lead the “Gears of War” development over a more established studio?

Phil Spencer: Black Tusk has assembled a world-class team with deep experience and passion for the shooter space, and specifically the “Gears of War” franchise. I am extremely confident that under the leadership of Hanno Lemke, Rod Fergusson and our other leaders in the studio, Black Tusk is well equipped to take on the future development of the “Gears of War” franchise.

Are there plans to bring anyone who worked on previous “Gears of War” games onboard to work on the future of the series?

Hanno Lemke: The news that Rod Fergusson is joining Black Tusk should be really exciting for fans of the franchise. Rod has played a leadership role at Epic on all of the “Gears of Wars” games, he understands the franchise deeply but equally importantly he understands the fans of the franchise – what they love, where they want to see the franchise evolve. Once the news spreads about the opportunities at Black Tusk, I’m confident we’ll see interest from a number of talented developers who share the same passion for the “Gears” franchise as the developers at Black Tusk.

When can we expect to hear more about the plans for the “Gears of War” franchise?

Hanno Lemke: We hope to be able to share more news about “Gears of War” later this year.

You’re moving back to Canada and back to working on the “Gears” franchise. Is it like a homecoming for you?

Rod Fergusson: I’m extremely excited to be joining Black Tusk Studios to oversee development on the “Gears of War” franchise. 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.

Finally, Epic games shared the following statement on the acquisition:

“Epic Games has reached an agreement to sell the ‘Gears of War’ intellectual property rights to Microsoft. We’re very proud of the franchise we built in close partnership with Microsoft over the past decade and are happy that this agreement enables Microsoft to forge ahead with the ‘Gears’ universe on their industry-leading platforms as Epic concentrates its efforts on new projects,” said Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney. “Epic remains totally dedicated to supporting Xbox One and is licensing the Unreal Engine 4 technology to Microsoft in support of their future projects.”

Edited On 27 Jan, 2014

First thing that comes to mind is why. I loved Gears 1-3 campaign was ok in judgement. But the story is done so why dont they make something new seems very lazy to make another Gears game.
Bindiana 11 months ago
To be fair there is so much more to the gears of war universe that they could probably make a few more games, i think the next one will be based around The Pendulum Wars. This news means i'll need to get a xbone now.
JoeToots 11 months ago
Its a successful franchise thats mainly why same reason there was another God of War and Halo after their trilogy. At least is not the same people that made judgement making it.
Zombieflamingo 11 months ago
Yeah and those games that come after the trilogy are usually the worst games. Never really played Halo but always seem to be there is a split of opinion after Halo 3. Acension and judgement made me feel I was done with both series as they just felt like cash ins.
Bindiana 11 months ago
I didn't like Gears. The gameplay was repetitive, the story was uninteresting and I didn't have any connection with any character
Loli-Nox-Tan 11 months ago
Halo has a whole universe worth of lore to pull from though
Loli-Nox-Tan 11 months ago
I love gears of war loved every game but i have to admitt it isn't for everyone.
JoeToots 11 months ago
Halo 4 had good points and bad points. The Judgement single player I thought was ok but the multiplayer was guff., never played God of War accension though so I cant say for that. Gears has plenty of lore for another game the first game doesnt take place till 15 years after Emergence day, you have the whole thing about why Marcus was sent to prison and the Pendulum wars which were well before the Locust. I am sure they could come up with some way that the some Locust survived as well.
Zombieflamingo 11 months ago
Meh this means it will never come to PlayStation. It might even become worse than the original Trilogy now that Epic has left the series, Judgment was not as good as the original 3 in the same aspect when Bungie left Halo and Halo 4 was not as good as the original 3. I will take Uncharted any day over Gears. Naughty Dog are still making those games.
Light Heaven 11 months ago
I need to like the characters if I'm going to play the game and Gears just doesn't have likeable characters. Same reason I don't like God of War, Kratos is a dickhead
Loli-Nox-Tan 11 months ago
But at least this one wil have Rod Ferguson back with it so heres hoping. As long as Uncharted is better than 3 thenI am happy didnt enjoy that one as much. Your tight Nox Kratos was a dick. Marcus wasnt the best but Dom, Baird and Cole were good.
Zombieflamingo 11 months ago
I liked the story about Doms wife in Gears 2, it was the only time I actually cared. Too bad I don't care enough to play Gears 3 :)
Loli-Nox-Tan 11 months ago
So is this the game Black Tusk were doing or are they working on another game as well.
Bindiana 11 months ago
I think Marcus earns bonus points from me as he is Bender from Futurama. The only thing that let me down for 3 was that Cole and Baird were not with you as much, I liked Sam but not the other new guys.
Zombieflamingo 11 months ago
Baird in GOW:J was an absolute don of a character!
JoeToots 11 months ago
I cried at a certain sad point in gears of war 3 just saying.
JoeToots 11 months ago
Think thats why I like the story for Judgement. I didnt like how they tried to make the multiplayer more fast paced and the humans vs humans was just weird with the same characters on each side.
Zombieflamingo 11 months ago
Yo dat iz cos you be uh pansy Toots Ya' dig?
Loli-Nox-Tan 11 months ago
i actually blitzed to top rank in the multiplayer in less than a month.. i know sad..
JoeToots 11 months ago
and nox give it a play through you'll feel the same
JoeToots 11 months ago
Nah, that would involve me setting my Xbox up and buying the game
Loli-Nox-Tan 11 months ago
JoeToots 11 months ago
I can see why Epic sold them the licence, the series has been on a downward spiral from the start and has more than run its course. Black Tusk are apparently mainly ex EA staff, so wouldn't expect too much from them either.
Gloria 11 months ago
I thought Microsoft already owned the franchise to be honest. It's good that Rod is coming back though, was a shame when he and Cliff left, I think the team and Judgement took a downhill slope then. I hope the next Gears comes out on PC though, don't really want to buy a console for one game.
Whitey 11 months ago
Gears of war 1=Good Gears of war 2= Very good Gears of war 3 =Splendid game Gear of war: judgement= Okayish. Now that Microsoft owns it they should just let it die & not tarnish the franchise by milking it too much. One game will be okay but lets hope they don't dig the name of gears of war deeper into ground by milking it to death
Akemi no Zero 11 months ago
Dragon Age Inquisition - PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
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