Microsoft now owns Gears of War

3 min read


There’s been speculation for quite some time as to whether or not the last generation’s defining game, Gears of War, would be headed to PlayStation platforms. The IP itself was owned by Epic Games, so it wouldn’t have been much of a stretch. Finally putting an end to that sort of conjecture, Microsoft has acquired the rights from Epic, making it Xbox exclusive in perpetuity.

Announcing the coup last night, Microsoft seems very pleased with itself, confirming that it now owns Gears of War, and every asset associated with it. They’re putting their newly formed Canadian first party studio Black Tusk Games to work on future games in the series. Black tusk was a rebranded Microsoft Vancouver, set up to create a new IP that would rival Halo. That’s been put on hold.

They’ve also hired former Director of Production Epic and soon to be former VP of Development at Irrational Games to head up the series.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining Black Tusk Studios to oversee development on the Gears of War franchise,”” said Fergusson, known as Gears Viking.  “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.”

The guy usually associated with the Gears of War series, former designer at Epic Clifford Bleszinski has said the franchise is in good hands.

“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.”

He’s also confirmed he won’t be working on any new games in the series, as he wants to focus on new things.

I have to be honest though, in saying that the Gears of War series seems pretty played out to me. It’s a complete narrative. Yes, they could focus on different characters during the war, but it would just be retelling the same story from a different perspective. They could also focus on things like the Pendulum Wars, but that would be more Unreal tournament than Gears of War. Whatever it is Black Tusk does, I hope they can reinvigorate Gears of War..though I’d hoped for the same from People Can Fly with Gears of War: Judgment, and they failed to deliver there. Presumably, the next Gears game, which I don’t think we’ll see for quite some time, will be an Xbox One exclusive.

Financial details of the acquisition were not discussed, but eminent professional guesser Michael Pachter believes the deal was done for “Probably $100 million or less, certainly no more than that.”

Do you still care about Gears, or do you think the series has seen its day?

Last Updated: January 28, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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