It may come to a surprise for most people to learn that Microsoft never owned the Gears of War IP, they were just the publisher. That honour belonged with Epic, whom if they chose, could publisher further entries on competing platforms. That isn’t the case any longer, as Microsoft have today announced they have acquired the Gears of War IP from Epic.
The news comes from Microsoft’s Xbox News Wire blog, which doesn’t detail any financial figures about the acquisition, but does reveal two key points. Firstly, the series will now be helmed by Black Tusk Studios, who briefly showed off a tech demo during Microsoft’s 2013 E3 press conference. Secondly, Rod Fergusson, who was a key figure on the original development team at Epic, will be joining Black Tusk to serve as producer for future Gears games. Speaking on the move, Fergusson said: I’m extremely excited to be joining Black Tusk Studios to oversee development on the “Gears of War” franchise. 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.”
Black Tusk are the third development studio to work on a Gears of War game, following Epic and the Epic-owned People Can Fly.