Microsoft Buys Up Gears of War From Epic
Already a flagship Xbox exclusive four games running, Epic’s blockbuster Gears of War IP has been bought up by Microsoft Studios.
The deal puts Microsoft in ownership of all current and subsequent games, media, and merchandise. The Big M announced its intent to put all future development duties of the series onto Black Tusk Studios’ shoulders.
The production house, formerly known as Microsoft Vancouver, is having its staff bolstered by one Mr. Rod Fergusson, whom you may recall as having worked at Epic in a Director of Production role. Fergusson most recently has been bombin’ around 2K supposedly setting up a new studio for the company, but his assuming of a “key leadership position” at Black Tusk means 2K is a Rod short these days.
Epic released a fluffy statement saying that they’re pleased Microsoft will be able to “forge ahead with the Gears universe on their industry-leading platforms” and yada, yada, and some-such. It would seem Epic is moving onto other projects but fully intends on licensing out their Unreal 4 Engine to the Xbox One – which could mean a future Gears may benefit from it.
This isn’t the first shakeup in a renown franchise under Microsoft’s belt. Halo saw its creators in Bungie leave the property behind for greener virtual pastures while Microsoft coordinated internally to create a dev studio solely for the purpose of proliferating Master Chief’s universe. Hopefully Gears of War’s transition into new hands will be handled as carefully as Halo 4 was.
(Also interesting to note, both Bungie’s and Epic’s last titles in their respective IP’s ended in prequels. History will eat itself as they say… If they say that.)