Gears of War Rights Acquired By Microsoft Studios, Black Tusk To Develop
Written Monday, January 27, 2014 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
Microsoft Studios has announced that it has acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games, handing over development duties to Vancouver-based team Black Tusk Studios. What's more, ex-Epic Director of Production and Gears man Rod Fergusson will be joining Microsoft, playing a key role on the series at Black Tusk.
Existing and future Gears of War games, "entertainment experiences" and merchandise all belong to Microsoft hence forth. "The Gears of War franchise has a very strong, passionate and valued fan base on Xbox. Over twenty-two million units have been sold across all Gears of War titles worldwide, grossing over $1bn dollars (US). This franchise, and these fans, are part of the soul of Xbox," said Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer.
"By acquiring this franchise, Microsoft Studios will continue to offer them more of their favourite games and entertainment experiences from the Gears of War universe."
Spencer assured Gears fans that Black Tusk taking over the franchise won't compromise future Gears of War titles. "Black Tusk has assembled a world-class team with deep experience and passion for the shooter space, and specifically the Gears of War franchise," he said. "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."
"I’m extremely excited to be joining Black Tusk Studios to oversee development on the Gears of War franchise," commented Rod Fergusson. "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."
Microsoft will be revealing more about a future Gears of War title - presumably for Xbox One - later this year. Epic Games had the following to say on the new deal: “Epic Games has reached an agreement to sell the Gears of War intellectual property rights to Microsoft," the studio stated.
"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.”
Epic VP Mark Rein had the following to say about the agreement on Twitter: "Congratulations to @XboxP3 @GearsViking and all our friends at Microsoft - they’ll take good care of @GearsofWar and we’re excited for them!"
We're assuming this is today's teased big Microsoft announcement, so Crackdown 3 might have to wait until another day.
[Via Xbox News Wire]