In a move that seems like it should have happened long ago, Microsoft has announced today that they have purchased the franchise rights to the Gears of War series from Epic Games. Phil Spencer stated in an FAQ posted on their website that “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.” Much like Halo‘s 343 Industries, Microsoft has already set up Black Tusk Studios to be their Gears of War house, and they’ve also hired on series executive producer Rod Ferguson to oversee the franchise moving forward.
Some gamers may find this news disheartening considering that now Microsoft can fit right back into their Halo and Gears yearly alternating schedule that they’ve been on ever since Gears 1. Microsoft has run through a lot of first party franchises in the history of Xbox, but only these two, Fable, and Forza Motorsport have really proven to stand the test of time. That being said, is there really anywhere else in the Gears universe to go after you’ve taken the do rag off? Perhaps chainsawing a baddie in first person would be novel, but I can’t see that drastic a change coming from a publisher like Microsoft, especially nowadays. In any case, this news stomps out those old Gears to PS4 rumors that were floating around, and also kills any hope of the franchise having a presence on PC for some time to come. But hey, at least the next one will have more multiplayer maps than Gears Judgement right?