And the remnants of Cliffy B. have left the building.
Epic Games have sold the rights to the Gears of War property in its entirety to Microsoft Studios, meaning that the future tales of humans and Locusts will remain an Xbox exclusive. Let’s get the official bit out of the way first.
“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.”
This sale solves two problems at once: I assume Epic did not want to make any more Gears games and Microsoft wants more because the machine runs on money.
This tells me that the next game in the Gears universe will most likely be a sequel unlike the, (Toy Story 2 was) OK, Judgement.
Microsoft must think a lot of unproven developer, Black Tusk, to give them the reigns to Gears of War. This paid off once before when 343 Industries took on Halo 4 and knocked it out of the park. Hopefully with a lot of new brains working together we will get some new gameplay ideas that will reinvigorate the series. I am sure Microsoft will take the Halo approach and write a blank check to Black Tusk for development.
No timetable was given on when to expect a new Gears of War game. I would expect some sort of teaser trailer at E3 this year to begin with. Don’t expect the game until at least 2015 or 2016.