Microsoft announced this morning that they have acquired the rights to the entire Gears of War franchise; including all existing and future games, merchandise, as well as entertainment experiences (TV shows, movies, etc) from Epic Games. They also announced that there will be a new team, Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver, B.C taking over development of the Gears of War franchise, similar to how 343 Studios took over Halo from Bungie. Joining Black Tusk Studios will be former Director of Production at Epic Games, Rod Fergusson, who will be taking a key leadership role at this new studio and helping to drive the franchise forward.
Epic Games also announced in a statement that they are licensing the Unreal Engine 4 technology to Microsoft in support of their future projects. They also said they are very proud of the “Gears” franchise and are happy with this agreement, as this allows Microsoft to forge ahead with the “Gears” franchise while they themselves concentrate on new projects.
This is pretty huge news, especially for the Vancouver video games industry. Hopefully this will help to rejuvenate a once healthy game industry, that recently has seen many games and studios going elsewhere. I look forward to seeing what Microsoft does with the franchise and I guess this ends the question of if we will ever see a “Gears” game on a Sony platform, although, now maybe we will get gears on PC…… *crosses fingers*
By Dayne “Anjel” Cody