Microsoft revealed today that it has acquired the rights to the Gears of War
series from Epic Games, including all existing and future titles in the franchise.
Microsoft's Black Tusk Studios, based in Vancouver, is now in charge of steering the Gears of War
ship, and will be looking to develop future titles exclusively for the Xbox One.
Rod Fergusson, formerly executive producer and director of production on the Gears of War
franchise at Epic Games before he moved to Irrational Games in 2012, has now joined Black Tusk to work alongside the studio's general manager Hanno Lemke.
The news comes just months after Fergusson said he would lead 2K Games' newest studio
in California's Bay Area, to work on a new project.
Microsoft's Phil Spencer explained
that purchasing the popular franchise was all about making sure big brands that Xbox 360 players enjoyed stayed with Xbox. The company noted that the Gears of War
series will continue to utilize the Unreal Engine from Epic Games.
Notably, Black Tusk is yet to release a single game
, yet it has now been handed one of Microsoft's most important IPs. Spencer says, regardless, he is still "extremely confident" that the team will pull it off with future installments in the series.
And Epic CEO Tim Sweeney added, "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."