Microsoft Studios acquires rights to Gears of War franchise
posted on 01.27.14 at 09:08 AM EDT by (@salromano)
Black Tusk Studios developing the next entry in the former Epic series.

Gears of War 3

Microsoft Studios has acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games, including rights to all existing and future games, the company announced.

Black Tusk Studios, Microsoft’s Vancouver development team, will take over development of the franchise. Rod Fergusson, former Epic Games director of production on Gears of War, will join Microsoft and play a “key studio leadership role” at Black Tusk on development of the franchise moving forward.

“This franchise, and these fans, are part of the soul of Xbox,” Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer said. “By acquiring this franchise, Microsoft Studios will continue to offer them more of their favorite games and entertainment experiences from the Gears of War universe.

“Black Tusk has assembled a world-class team with deep experience and passion for the shooter space, and specifically the Gears of War franchise. I am extremely confident that under the leadership of Hanno Lemke, Rod Fergusson and our other leaders in the studio, Black Tusk is well equipped to take on the future development of the Gears of War franchise. ”

Epic Games will license the Unreal Engine 4 to Microsoft in support of their future projects, the studio said. More news about plans for the franchise will be shared “later this year.”

But what of Black Tusk Studios’ other project? Speaking to Polygon, Spencer said, “The thing we showed at E3 last year, it was something that was done in Unreal and more of a concept piece.” It was “an asset” created by the team, not necessarily an in-development game.

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  • Dennis Djoenz

    Wow

  • Peacenutman

    So this is the new game that MS was going to announce tomorrow?

  • MrRobbyM

    Well. My not-so-serious wish came to life…cool, I guess..

    Well, give me a new, quality, gears and some other incentive to buy an Xbone and I just might.

    • Bobby Jennings

      Exactly what I said. Now I need to buy a Xbox One :(

  • Anime10121

    Well it may as well be owned by Microsoft considering the series never left Xbox anyway…

    • TheExile285

      I always thought they owned it anyway >_>

      • Anime10121

        Nah Epic was always adamant that they owned full rights to the series and that it COULD go multiplat in the future if they wanted. But I had a feeling it never would, and now it never will.

        • z_merquise

          Well at least, Epic released Bulletstorm (an FPS game that I like) in multiplatform. Too bad there won’t be any sequel because it had so much potential.

          I’m curious with Gears of War that I actually wanted to try it but it sucks to me that it’s only available on a console I don’t have.

          • Anime10121

            Bulletstorm was kinda fun, but it just seemed kinda like an amped up Gears. But Ima really need Epic to get some better writers for the dialogue, as the dialogue in that game was putrid with all the profanity.

            • z_merquise

              Hehe. I admit the humor and the writing are not for everyone but I enjoy it for what it is.

              It could be a bit of bias but I’m such a huge fan of the writer Rick Remender who also made the dialogue and the story in the game. I love his works in comics, both original creations and at Marvel (Punisher, Uncanny X-Force, Venom, Avengers, etc.). It was his involvement what made me discover the game.

              • Anime10121

                I’m usually not one to complain about dialogue and the like, but Gears of War has DmC beat when it comes to literally just dishing them out there..

                But hm, didnt know he did stories for Marvel…(though I have been out of the comic loop for at least a decade, too many stories to keep track of, and I just kinda lost it :( )

    • Six

      A lot of people were hoping that the series would go multiplatform because of reasons.

      I bet many of the people who are upset/pissed now would have a very different tune if that was the outcome.

      • Anime10121

        I liked the first, and played a little of the second and it was decent, but soon after lost most interst in the series (but then again, that was around the time my 360 kicked the bucket, so I never got around to the rest).

        • Six

          I’m obviously a huge fan of the franchise.

          Which around here seems to be some kind of sin. :P

          • Anime10121

            Of course it is, its Xbox console exclusive, and you must burn at the stake for having anything positive to say about those heathens!!!

            WE WILL BURN YOUR BREAD!!!
            http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs44/i/2009/157/5/2/P3__Burn_my_Bread_by_kathy_vicki.jpg

            • Six

              I’m sorry for ruining the video game industry with my purchasing habits.

              If I didn’t buy Halo 3, then maybe Konami would still make Suikoden games and Resident Evil 6 would’t have sucked.

              It’s all my fault. D:

              • Budgiecat

                Its the Butterfly Effect….

      • Sevyne

        Hmm, I dunno about people hoping for it to go multiplat (though I could be wrong and just haven’t seen people say anything of the sort), but I have seen people speculate over if it would end up going multiplat or not. Guess this news puts all of that to rest though.

        I myself never expected anything of the kind, nor did I care either way. Not because I think it’s a bad series or anything. They’re just not my kind of games. Some people sure to love em though and that’s fine.

  • Six
    • TheExile285

      lol, why do i not remember this scene?

  • DarthNemesis

    I thought Black Tusk was working on an original game?

  • Wolf Star

    I wasn’t even surprised. Gears of war franchise is always on Xbox console. I tought Gears Of War Series never left Xbox or Microsoft in the first place.
    This is the “Big New Game announcement??” It’s not even new. Just say “an old series that everyone loves will be announcing tomorrow morning” (with a gears of war picture added.) that would make perfect sense.

  • http://Gematsu.com Vayne

    And Microsoft expects to sell millions with this franchise? So good luck Microsoft.

    • Six

      Uh… the franchise does sell millions?

      • DarthNemesis

        Whem epic was making it.Though Judgement flopped.

        • Six

          Bungie didn’t make Halo 4, yet it was the most successful entry in the franchise.

  • 罪罰

    They’re Haloing their franchises.
    siwwy microsawt

  • DarthBrian

    So the mystery game Black Tusk was working on is just another Gears game.

    I am disappoint. Was hoping for a new IP. :(

    • Wolf Star

      Yeah same here, anything that MS announces as a “New Game” it won’t be a new game. It will be either a Kinect game or another game on their franchise. there are exceptional new games like Ryse and Quantium Break. Other than that I’m disappointed. :(

      • Six

        So, they won’t announce any new games except for those new games that they announced.

        Huh.

        • Wolf Star

          I tought new game meant new game. They never said about new game in the franchise. I’m saying that new game is a new game that we never seen before. Everyone knows gears of war. They should’ve have said “New gears of war game announcement tomorrow morning” instead of this “New game announcement tomorrow morning”

          • Six

            Sunset Overdrive
            Ryse
            Quantum Break
            D4
            Powerstar Golf

            Those are all new IP from Microsoft. Why do you think that now all of a sudden they won’t announce any more?

            • Wolf Star

              Well that’s only 5 games right there. they should’ve have announce something new today like they promised, but I only see another gears of war game. I was hopping a new IP from MS themselves. ” sigh” oh well E3 2014 is the best place to announce new games :3

              • Six

                The new consoles haven’t even been out for 3 months yet.

                Just take it easy. :P

                • Wolf Star

                  True true :3 thanks ^^ I haven’t played a Gears of War game since 2008 when the 2nd game came out. I already know what happened to 3 (I never played but heard). Also I heard judgement sucked :P that’s when I stopped caring about the franshice :P

                  • Six

                    Judgment isn’t that bad. But it might just be because I snagged it for $5 on eBay.

                    I’d say if Microsoft shows up to E3 with nothing but Halo, Fable, Forza and Gears, then it would be time to get upset.

                    I know I will be if that’s the case.

                    • Wolf Star

                      I tought Everyone didn’t like Judgement?? :/ $5?? O__o woah.. That’s a good deal dude.

                • Budgiecat

                  We’re stuck in that early stage era where everyone just wants time to move one faster than it is. No one wants to remember how other consoles and handhelds in the past has slow starts

                  Happened with the PS3, PSP, 3DS and now this with the PS4/X1 and the Vita…and Wii U

            • Morino*Basa

              To be fair, all of these games are developed by third parties and published by Microsoft. If MS did not bankroll them, they would more than likely be released as multi-platform titles. Games released or announced by Microsoft internal studios include Forza, Killer Instinct, Kinect Sports Rivals, Halo, Gears of War, and Fable, which are all sequels. There’s Project Spark and LocoCycle; those are new…

              • Six

                Or, you know, they wouldn’t exist at all.

                • Morino*Basa

                  And what a loss it would be.

                  • Six

                    You aren’t interested in Sunset Overdrive or Quantum Break? That’s a shame.

  • Six
    • Gariya

      This looks better.

      • Six

        Never mind, I didn’t see the image.

      • Lalum

        I hope you’re joking.

        • Gariya

          I’m not.

          • Lalum

            For someone with such disdain for the franchise, as seen below, it’s kind of humorous that you would enjoy the games if they just replaced the characters with cute anime girls.

      • Budgiecat

        The Atlus logo doesn’t seem to fit…

        • Gariya

          I agree, should’ve been NIS. I think this parody box art was made around the time the term “Fatlus” started getting coined.

          • Budgiecat

            Agreed. NIS is a better fit. You should have photoshopped it in…

      • http://www.facebook.com/micheal.scott.315 Micheal Scott

        That’s so cute will buy

    • Anime10121

      That actually looks awesome!

    • http://www.facebook.com/micheal.scott.315 Micheal Scott

      I Second that she wasn’t in none of the games
      but only as DLC for GOWJ MP not cool

      • Budgiecat

        Dudebros dont like playing as manly women….

  • XXX

    Hope they release future titles for the PC, even though that probably won’t happen.

  • Solomon_Kano

    I think the knowledge that this is what Black Tusk will be tasked with makes this news doubly dissapointing. Well, I should have known.

    • z_merquise

      Maybe Epic Games Poland (formerly People Can Fly) will be the one working on a new IP.

      And since it said that it’s just Gears of War, I guess their other IPs (if there are any) can be multiplatform.

      • Six

        NO.

        Bulletstorm 2 plz.

        • z_merquise

          Sigh. Yeah, I so wish for that too. If only they can still give it chance even when it sold below their expectations but that’s not going to happen.

          I’m still going to say that the Boneduster is still the best shotgun. Ever.

          • Six

            I think with the proper publisher it would be a good seller. EA just kinda sent it to die, like all of their other Partner games.

            I’m still praying for the day that Epic turns the Samaritan and Infiltrator tech demos into games. Shit would be glorious.

      • Solomon_Kano

        :O

        Bless your soul, you’ve managed to find the silver lining here!

        I was super disappointed when PCF got saddled with Gears, but now they’re free to do original stuff again! After Bulletstorm, I’m down for whatever they do next.

  • PrinceHeir

    kinda expected.

    i played the first game and it was okay.

    i prefer Uncharted and i’m glad UC2 and UC3 have awesome multiplayer ^^

    • Jay

      Last of Us MP was pretty solid as well.

  • GODDUKEMONEXA

    gears of war, the CASUAL GAME of the MILLENIUM

    • http://Xcite79.1up.com/ Keegs79

      I know, right? Its like the exclusive version of Call of Duty. More of the same run and gun gameplay but with cheesy terrible dialogue.

  • gekitsu

    was it ever likely anyone would publish a gears game multiplatform, though?
    from my impression, gears is one of the games so very much in tune with the xbox brand identity and its demography, and its history being pretty much exclusively xbox, that reaching out to multiplat would definitely surprise me.

    • Dennis Djoenz

      True, but Kingdomhearts 3 will be multi-plat and FF titles more likely too. Some FF titles also released on PC but still.

      • http://www.cubiz.tk/ Auragar

        FF and KH shouldn’t be multiplat. I don’t know why SE decided to do so. Oh right because they are idiots. I am not saying it is wrong for people to want it on Xbox or whatever. But we have to agree that 1) it will increase dev time, 2) mean lower quality of the game overall (probably), 3) the game will sell like shit on Xbox anyways.

        • Six

          But then we wouldn’t have gotten to witness the absolutely delicious meltdowns when it was announced that FFXIII would be on 360.

          • http://www.cubiz.tk/ Auragar

            I don’t think I was there for the meltdowns. And as I said (just so people are clear) I am not saying it is wrong to want it on Xbox it just doesn’t do well and it means the game as a whole loses some potential.

            • Six

              When Final Fantasy XIII launched in the US, it sold almost 500k on the 360 versus the over 800k it sold on PS3.

              http://www.gamespot.com/articles/march-sees-ffxiii-god-of-war-iii-pokemon-bad-company-2-sell-over-1m-npd/1100-6258416/

              That isn’t a very big gap, considering the history of Final Fantasy on Playstation platforms.

              • kiri25

                Your comparison here is rather weak as u don’t consider all factors that lead to the the total copies sold on each console. Just a few of the largest reasons the 360 ver. did a decent job in sales would be 1) ps3 was still pretty pricey 2) more 360 sold in NA and finally 3) the 360 started off strong with JRPG’s so it had a decent jrpg crowed that could get ffxiii without having to buy a ps3.

                Now let’s look at ffxiii-2 NA sales, for ps3 around 500k xb360 was around 150k. The gap is getting larger and rightly so as 360’s jrpg strength has declined greatly. I suspect ffxiii-3 to see a very similar result a continue decline in 360 sales.

                This time around tho ps4 has been doing extremely well and I believe when ffxv and kh3 release the sales will far surpass the xbone ver. But only time will tell ^..<

                • Six

                  Just because it’ll sell much better on PS4 doesn’t mean the Xbone version shouldn’t exist.

                  I mean, The Elder Scrolls games and Mass Effect games sell much better on Xbox platforms, but you don’t see anyone saying that they should skip Playstation consoles.

                  • kiri25

                    Never said it shouldn’t exist just explaining why the 360 ver. of ffxiii sold pretty well in NA and voicing my opinion that this time around I don’t see the sales for xbone ver. being as good. Tho like I said only time will tell.

                    • Six

                      I don’t think anyone expects it to sell particularly well. Same with Metal Gear Solid on the Xbone.

                      But if it means more money in the publisher’s pockets, I’m all for it. Games aren’t getting any cheaper to make.

                      Hell, they should put them on PC too.

                    • Budgiecat

                      PC is pirate friendly

              • ddsfan2

                Keep in mind that in least the US (or at least where I live), the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy 13 was heavily advertised by Microsoft, (on TV, even at sporting events) whereas I didn’t see a single ad for the PS3 version. The PS3 console was still over $300 versus $200 for the Xbox 360, and the install base for Xbox 360 was larger. In spite of all of this, the PS3 version outsold it, even in the ideal region for Microsoft.

                I’m not saying that it wasn’t worth porting to the 360, especially considering the amount of money that Microsoft most likely gave to Square-Enix, but without such factors in its favor, a port might not have been profitable. I am still not convinced that Japanese developers have gotten used to multi-platform development even today.

                • Six

                  I’d argue that the vast majority have. Well, the ones who have a reason to be multiplatform.

                  Look at Platinum Games. Team Ninja. Capcom, Namco Bandai, Grasshopper, From Software, Sega.

                  Of course devs like Idea Factory, Compile Heart, NIS and Gust would have no idea what to do, but it doesn’t matter. They are so niche that they have no reason to be multiplatform.

                  • ddsfan2

                    That’s true, for the most part, I’m thinking of small developers. When I think of Square-Enix, for example, I think of a company that spent basically a generation making an engine that they pretty much replaced by the time they released a couple games with it. Granted, there were other factors, such as not being used to HD development, and the PS3 being hard to develop for, but I can’t imagine preparing the white engine for multiple platforms (at least from 2008 onwards) was an easy task. They also seemed to struggle with the Unreal Engine as well.

                    • Six

                      I blame all of that on the PS3. I’m convinced that if if had come out sooner, been cheaper and easier to develop for (basically be the 360) Japan would be in a much better place when it comes to console gaming, and gaming in general.

                      It would have given them an easier transition to HD development and it would have enabled them to better compete with west.

                    • Budgiecat

                      Maybe

                      But with 360 not having any of those “problems” you’d think the JRPG’s on it would have taken off then but they didn’t.

          • zerolegacy0

            Meltdowns? I remember most people laughing at the inevitable multi disc release. If anything it was collective facepalms.

            Never thought I’d use this image again.

            • Six

              There were meltdowns, and they were embarrassing.

              http://ffxiii360.ytmnd.com/

              • Budgiecat

                Considering how much a disaster FF XIII was, nothing of value was lost…

                • Six

                  No arguments there.

      • gekitsu

        mhmm. now that im thinking about it, id really like if someone went and asked a few developers, and wrote an article about multiplatform development.

        i mean, with the kind of budget, time and manpower thats needed for aaa titles, its only logical they need it to make more money. selling to a compound userbase might well be useful, depending on what product quality they can maintain and how much success can be expected on platforms its not traditionally sold on.

        would be interesting to know if there have been cases where multiplat backfired because the game still only really sold on one console, where the tipping points are, etc.

      • Budgiecat

        Square-Anus is struggling due to their dumb management so they will open their anus for anyone

  • DarthBrian

    So, yeah, that game they showed at E3 last year wasn’t just a concept like Phil Spencer would lead us to believe. It was a real new IP and they shelved it for more Gears. Proof via twitter via GAF.

    https://twitter.com/xboxjobs/status/427869464198397952

    https://twitter.com/xboxjobs/status/427869594913882112

    • Six

      Well, that sucks. Hopefully Black Tusk will be able to go back to it after Gears, or they are able to expand their studio to contain multiple teams.

      Also, someone needs to get on Spencer’s case and have him explain this. He could have easily said “Yeah, Black Tusk has some stuff in the works, but blah blah blah fluff fluff fluff”.

  • Elvick

    More of the Same.

    • Stryker_X20

      Yeah, another trashy game. How stupid can people like MS’ Spencer or Penello get? While us on SONY get to also have internationally localized games too.

      • Six

        “While us on SONY”.

        Man, I’m so jealous. I wish I was on Sony. :/

        • McPoo

          I think you need to hand in a written application along with a character reference from someone who is already on Sony, to be considered for entry.

  • Stryker_X20

    Literally some people who were expecting a better announcement.

    http://i.memecaptain.com/gend_images/fp-EJw.png

    • Budgiecat

      What Anime is that pic from

      • Stryker_X20

        It’s an OC (original character) :).

  • Six

    Oh, right. It’s just shooters because of your brilliant fanboy logic.

  • Lalum

    “Assassin’s Creed, God of War…are not dudebro.”

    Heh.

  • icecoffemix

    It’s a good thing, I hope it stay that way so we won’t have another Lost Odyssey situation. I really don’t want to buy a console just for single game (Wii U and X may be an exception though, sigh).

  • Luna Kazemaru

    you guys are trying abit to hard right now…I’m not one for shooters all the time nor do i really like how they get pumped out so much but I wouldn’t put it past half of you wouldn’t be acting like this if there where JRPGs pumped out left and right.

  • Gariya

    Indeed. Reminds me when I bought 360 for Vesperia and beating the game ONE FUCKING MONTH before Famitsu revealed the PS3 port with tons of extra contents.

    Thank God for Baba realizing where the fanbase at.

  • Wolf Star

    I want PS3 Vesperia :(

  • Budgiecat

    Yet he didn’t localize it…and recently got angry when someone mistook what he said on something else and mentioned it….

  • Six

    So, what should I be excited for?

  • Six

    No one forced these developers to copy these big franchises.

    Blame the dipshit companies with no creativity.

  • Luna Kazemaru

    and now you are truly over reaching there

  • Six

    I see no point in arguing with you. You have already admitted on more than one occasion that you are a fanboy.

    But the fact that you really think it’s Call of Duty’s fault that companies like Capcom and SE keep trying to replicate their success if pathetic.

    People shouldn’t be required to monitor what they like just so you can get more fucking weeaboo shit.

  • Luna Kazemaru

    Again I fail to see how its the fault of the companies who have had made money of CoD or Gears Its honestly not their fault for coming up with the shooters.

    Its the lack of creativity and other companies wanting to ride of the coat tails of others to try and make money and still fail in the end.

    Of course pumping out the same copy and paste game is never good but still a fail to see how its not the fault of other companies trying to take a easy way out

  • Six

    No one held a gun to these companies heads and forced them to follow the leader.

    It’s their own fucking ineptitude. It’s their own lack of creativity.

  • http://www.cubiz.tk/ Auragar

    “…I wouldn’t put it past half of you wouldn’t be acting…” <— I think you are missing 1) a comma, 2) another you. Anyways. JRPGs will never be pumped out left and right because they usually have some thought put into them, but now Japanese devs are going to shitty mobile bullshit which means things will be pumped out left and right, and it will be even worse than shooters (and some will even be rpgs).

  • Six

    Did you run, crying to your SAO bodypillow when you heard the news?

  • Gariya

    Nah, back then I had nothing against Xbox.

    But today is a different story.

  • DarthBrian

    I want a SAO bodypillow now. :(

  • Gariya

    Me too. Preferably a Sinon one.

  • DarthBrian

    mmmm…Leafa. <3

  • Budgiecat

    Thats how every industry is. Happens with Music, Movies, Fashion, Cars, Books, Phones; whatevers the most popular, companies play copycat and try to follow; its how trends are made. Most people dont want to or cant innovate. They only want to emulate.

  • Budgiecat

    Shenmue III