Breaking: Microsoft Acquires Gears of War From Epic Games
Get ready for a barrage of Halo-themed Gears of War jokes. Microsoft just announced in a post on Xbox Wire that it has acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games.
Microsoft’s Black Tusk Studios, formerly Microsoft Vancouver, will handle development and Epic’s former Director of Production on Gears, Rod Fergusson, will “play a key studio leadership role.”
“This franchise, and these fans, are part of the soul of Xbox,” Microsoft Studios VP Phil Spencer stated. “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.”
If you’re scratching your head over this one, you’re not alone. Why would Epic Games give up the keys to the billion-dollar Gears of War franchise? In a brief statement, Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney would only say that the studio is focusing on “new projects.”
“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,” Sweeney stated. “Epic remains totally dedicated to supporting Xbox One and is licensing the Unreal Engine 4 technology to Microsoft in support of their future projects.”
Filling in the gaps with some speculation, it sounds like Epic planned to put Gears to rest and Microsoft didn’t want to let the system-seller franchise die.
So what’s next for Gears of War? Microsoft said it hopes to share more information later this year.