On Monday morning, Microsoft has announced that it has secured the rights to the Gears of War franchise, ending any possibility of it making its way over to the PlayStation 4. Black Tusk Studios out of Vancouver, B.C. will take over development of the franchise. Along with securing the past titles and any future titles of the franchise, former Director of Production at Epic Games, Rod Fergusson, will join Microsoft in a "leadership role".
Phil Spencer, Head of Microsoft Studio, had this to say when asked why it purchased the franchise on the Xbox News website:
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. Over twenty-two million units have been sold across all “Gears of War” titles worldwide, grossing over $1B dollars (US). This franchise, and these fans, are part of the soul of Xbox. 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 is the new developer of the franchise. Epic had done a fantastic job establishing and perfecting the franchise. Phil comments on why they chose the Vancouver developer:
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 will be licensing the Unreal Engine 4 to Microsoft for this and future products, per Epic CEO Tim Sweeney. The entire release can be read here. Stay tuned for future news on any Gears of War releases.