Microsoft Studios have announced today, after being silent regarding the franchise, that they have acquired Gears of War from Epic Games. Black Tusk Studios who were originally working on a new, original IP will be taking over the franchise.
“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. We had a chance to chat with Phil Spencer, Head of Microsoft Studios, Hanno Lemke, General Manager of Black Tusk Studios at Microsoft Studios, and Rod Fergusson about the big news.”
– Quote from Xbox Wire
The latest Gears of War release was back in March 2013, with the highly controversial Gears of War: Judgment, a prequel to the prior three games.
Phil Spencer commented on why Microsoft wanted the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games, saying that it was because the fans have a strong commitment to the franchise. “It all comes back to our commitment to Xbox fans. The “Gears of War” franchise has a very strong, passionate and valued fan base on Xbox.” Spencer said.
Epic Games made the following statement about handing over the franchise to Microsoft:
“Epic Games has reached an agreement to sell the ‘Gears of War’ intellectual property rights to Microsoft. 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.”
Hanno Lemke, General Manager at Black Tusk Studios hopes to have more news to share about Gears of War “later this year.”, which possibly hints at something being revealed during Microsoft’s briefing at E3 2014.
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Source: Xbox Wire