Microsoft announced in a statement today that it has purchased the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games. If you were holding out for the series’ debut on a Sony console, you may as well abandon all hope now. Time to start saving up for that Xbox One, chumps.
It was also announced that Rod Fergusson, former Gears production director at Epic, will be joining Microsoft. Black Tusk Studios (formerly Microsoft Vancouver) will be handling development duties on the series going forward, and Microsoft seems plenty confident in the studio’s ability to uphold the series reputation.
Today we’re excited to announce that 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, we are excited to announce 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.
If the way things panned out with 343 Industries and Halo 4 are any indication, Microsoft is very, very serious about handing valuable IP to its internal development teams . Gears always felt like a Microsoft property to begin with (given its Xbox exclusivity), so it almost seems fitting that the rights would end up in the Xbox maker’s hands. Gears of War has finally come home.
There’s no info yet on a new game, but series co-creator Cliff Blezinski says on his blog that he won’t be involved or even consulted in the creation process. Despite this, he appears confident in Fergusson and Black Tusk’s ability.
To be honest, I don’t think the franchise could be in better hands. Heck, Rod’s Twitter handle, to this day, is “Gears Viking.” Gears is just as much Rod’s baby as it was mine. He’ll take good care of her. (Rod, I owe you a girly drink at GDC.)
Cliff, you clever jester you! Always good for a laugh and a girly drink. We’ll be sure to post updates on the Gears of War franchise as they develop.