Microsoft buys rights to Gears of War franchise
Epic Games gives up the series to the publisher, but will continue to support Xbox One
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.
The publisher also confirmed that Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver, BC will take over development of this franchise and that Rod Fergusson, former Director of Production at Epic Games, will join Microsoft and play a key studio leadership role at Black Tusk on the development of the franchise going forward.
Microsoft's Phil Spencer commented: "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 Games also had this to say: "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. Epic remains totally dedicated to supporting Xbox One and is licensing the Unreal Engine 4 technology to Microsoft in support of their future projects.”
The latest entry in the franchise was Gears of War: Judgment, developed by Epic Games Poland. The franchise was always an Xbox console exclusive, and now looks to remain that way.