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Microsoft Buys Gears of War From Epic
Microsoft has purchased the rights to the Gears of War IP from series creator Epic, and has handed the development duties to newly found studio Black Tusk Studios. The move means, obviously, that Gears of War will stay exclusive to Microsoft’s consoles; and as part of the deal former director of production of the series at Epic, Rod Ferguson, will oversee development by joining both Black Tusk Studios and Microsoft.
“Today we’re excited to announce that Microsoft Studios has acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games, including rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise,” a statement reads. “In addition, we are excited to announce that Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver, BC will take over development of the Gears of War franchise and that Rod Ferguson, former Director of Production at Epic Games on the Gears of War franchise, will join Microsoft and play a key studio leadership role at Black Tusk on the development of the franchise going forward.”
Black Tusk Studios was formed back in 2012 after Microsoft Vancouver underwent a rebrand. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer shared his opinion regarding the decision to hand Black Tusk the reigns to the series saying, “Black Tusk has assembled a world-class team with deep experience and passion for the shooter space, and specifically the Gears of War franchise.”
Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney also commented on the new deal.
“Epic Games has reached an agreement to sell the Gears of War intellectual property rights to Microsoft,” he said. “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. Epic remains totally dedicated to supporting Xbox One and is licensing the Unreal Engine 4 technology to Microsoft in support of their future projects.”
No details regarding when we should expect a new entry in the series to make its debut were shared.