Although the Gears of War series was exclusively published by Microsoft, ownership of the brand always belonged to developer Epic Games. Now, Epic has sold the whole lot, giving Marcus Fenix and his bull-necked buddies have a permanent home at Microsoft.
Development of the new Gears of War games will fall to Vancouver-based Black Tusk Studios, set up by Microsoft specifically to develop AAA blockbuster titles. Just a few weeks ago, the studio was seen advertising for people to work on a "cinematic" new game for Xbox One. A rebooted Gears definitely fits the bill.
There will be some continuity though. Rod Fergusson, who produced the first three games at Epic, is joining Black Tusk to oversee the project. "I'm extremely excited to be joining Black Tusk Studios to oversee development on the Gears of War franchise," he said. "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."
Microsoft boss man Phil Spencer added a "big vote of confidence" to the move, adding: "It's kind of nice he can tie the franchise, the culture, bring it all together, and really help with the talent we already have up at Black Tusk to get the franchise going with a new organization."
The most recent game in the series was Gears of War: Judgement, released last year.