Microsoft Buys Gears of War Franchise

Microsoft Studios announced on Monday that it acquired the rights to Epic Games' "Gears of War" franchise. Rod Fergusson, former Director of Production at Epic Games on the "Gears of War" franchise, also joined Microsoft, and will oversee development of a new "Gears of War" game at Vancouver, BC-based Black Tusk Studios.

"I'm extremely excited to be joining Black Tusk Studios to oversee development on the "Gears of War" franchise,” Fergusson said in a brief Q&A. "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."

Epic Games won't be left out of the picture, however. Hanno Lemke, General Manager of Black Tusk Studios, was asked why Epic Games sold the franchise to Microsoft. She merely confirmed that the new "Gears" team will continue to work closely with Epic going forward in terms of the Unreal Engine experience remaining consistent.

"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."

Ok, so why did Microsoft purchase the “Gears” franchise? Phil Spencer, Head of Microsoft Studios, pointed out that over 22 million units sold across all “Gears” titles worldwide, grossing over $1 billion dollars (US). That said, the franchise is part of the "soul" of the Xbox 360 (like Halo was for the original Xbox), and the company will continue the saga despite the trilogy's closure.

To read the full Q&A, head here. Is this good news or bad news? The team seems elated that Fergusson is spearheading the project, saying that "he understands the franchise deeply but equally importantly he understands the fans of the franchise."

Lemke said that the studio hopes to provide additional information about the new "Gears" game later this year.

  • eklipz330
    what was that loud moo-ing sound i just heard?
  • hotroderx
    I read that as we we bought the writes to Gears of War so we could milk a great franchise to death.
  • stevejnb
    Meh, if they treat it like they treated the Halo franchise, this might actually be a good thing. Though they "milked" that one after a fashion, all of the games were good (barring Halo Wars) and they didn't really rush releases. They even parted with Bungie amicably when all was said and done. If more "milking" like this went on, I don't think people would be so down on the practice. We owe that ill will to things like the CoD and Madden franchises.
  • bustapr
    well, Epic did well selling the franchise off. they surely werent going to be making a new one. might as well make more money off it by selling it off than they would by making a new game. cant say this bodes well for the franchise however. instead of creating new IPs, microsoft decides to buy an already milked flagship franchise and keep on squeezing it for their new console. I had fun with the original trilogy, they were some of the best games Ive played in the last 5 years. But the 4th game was obviously 1 game too many already.
  • hixbot
    Gears 1 to 3 were excellent and Gears Judgment was terrible. Unless Microsoft can bring the game back to it's roots (unlikely), I don't see a great future for Gears of War.
  • sincreator
    So even less of a chance of Gears 2 and 3 from ever coming to the PC. After all, Epic said it was the contract with Microsoft that stopped Gears 2 and 3 from be bought over.

    I actually love the Gears series but game mainly on PC. I might of bought the xbox 360 for Gears in the beginning, but I will not be buying an XB-1 for a new one. I decided to keep supporting Epic even after they didn't get Gears 2 and 3 ported, because there may of been a slim chance that they may of pressured Microsoft for a PC release. I guess that will never happen now, just like the recent Halo titles.

    One good thing I could see coming from all of this on the PC side of things, is that Epic may get their act together and release a new UNREAL title. I want to see some big changes to UNREAL this time around though. Something totally new and given as much attention as Gears was given, and just as much of a push commercially. It's time to resurect a series that should never of dropped off the map the way it did. UNREAL forever!
  • therickmu25
    They're not really milking it any worse than Sony or Nintendo milks their core franchises. There's been 7 God of War games and Nintendo has relied on the same first party games for 20 years. When you factor in Halo 3 alone outsold every PS3 exclusive combined, it's ridiculous to complain about MS creating sequals for their top players. Plus new IP's like Titan Fall, Quantum Break, and Sunset Overdrive are on the horizon so it's not like they are soley relying on their past successes.
  • kaiten5
    When you factor in Halo 3 alone outsold every PS3 exclusive combined.
    That is a bunch of bullshit. Halo 3 sold 12 mil copies. Uncharted 2 and metal gear solid 3 combined already matched that number and it is only two PS3 exclusive.
  • game junky
    How many more dude-bro games can they make - I mean, seriously...I enjoy the coop campaign but the multiplayer is pretty much garbage. Let it go, Microsoft...let it go.
  • hakesterman
    " When you factor in Halo 3 alone outsold every PS3 exclusive combined " @herickmu25 - Dude, where did you pull that out of, your Arse ???? Is thisDrug related or are you retarded ????