Outside of last year’s Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, developer The Coalition are still relative newcomers to Microsoft’s first-party franchise. But if there was ever any lingering doubt about the change of guard from Epic Games, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has teased that upcoming sequel Gears of War 4 is making “stunning progress” ahead of its planned launch in 2016.
Microsoft appointed the studio formerly known as Black Tusk at the helm soon after it acquired the IP outright in January of 2014. It did force the creative team to shelve its in-development shooter – codenamed Warfare at the time – and Spencer referenced the canned project when referencing The Coalition’s take on the Gears of War franchise.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) February 24, 2016
Specific details regarding the story of Gears of War 4 remain under wraps for now. Spencer has stated in the past that the sequel isn’t designed to be a reboot, and will feature an epic scale and darker tone than its predecessors. Bigger and darker are naturally the two clichéd terms used to drum up excitement for a sequel, but we remain curious about The Coalition’s AAA shooter nonetheless.
Gears of War 4 is expected to drop for Xbox One in late 2016 – presuming there’s no delay in production that bumps the game into 2017, that is.