Microsoft Acquires Gears of War

Microsoft Acquires Gears of War

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Epic's Rod Fergusson is part of the deal, and now works for Black Tusk.

"Today we're excited to announce that Microsoft Studios has acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games," says Microsoft, "including rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise." Vancouver studio Black Tusk will take over development, and Epic Games' Rod Fergusson has been installed at Black Tusk in what Microsoft describes as "a key studio leadership role."

Epic still has a good relationship with Microsoft Studios, claims Black Tusk's Hanno Lemke. Black Tusk intends to collaborate closely with Epic to ensure its Unreal Engine tech works smoothly in future Gears installments. So far Fergusson's the only one to jump ship, but Lemke's confident that, once other developers with a passion for Gears hear the good word, they'll want to come to work for Black Tusk too.

"I've been privileged to work on a lot of great games with a lot of great teams," says Fergusson, "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."

Source: Xbox

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Everybody wins with this, I think. This way Microsoft has one more first party IP besides Halo and Blinx the Time Sweeper, and Epic can devote more time and resources to multi-platform endeavors. Suits me just fine.

Mcoffey:
Everybody wins with this, I think. This way Microsoft has one more first party IP besides Halo and Blinx the Time Sweeper, and Epic can devote more time and resources to multi-platform endeavors. Suits me just fine.

Agreed, i hope Microsoft doesn't screw this up though. I hope they use the original Singleplayer model, rather than the one used in Judgement.

IT's an odd time for the move, since Dudebro Shooter of the Month has been on a popularity decline, but hey. If Microsoft wants it, good for them.

One of the reasons its been on the decline is because Judgement was garbage. I have mixed feelings about this.... on one hand, I am glad Microsoft locks in Gears to be an exclusive, but on the other hand.... Judgement is just crap, so it has me unhappy with the current direction of the series. But again, maybe... juuuust maybe they will turn it around for Gears and make it viable again. I certainly hope so.

Considering how played out GoW has become, I can't see this being a good investment for Microsoft.

My guess is that Epic was happy to get rid of it after Bleszinski left - I have a feeling they were afraid that the fanbase would hate a post-Bleszinski GoW if one was released under their name.

Well, at least they've still got Unreal Tournament and Jazz Jackrabbit...

Zachary Amaranth:
IT's an odd time for the move, since Dudebro Shooter of the Month has been on a popularity decline, but hey. If Microsoft wants it, good for them.

That's probably why Epic took them up on the offer, they get a massive payout and MS stops chopping at their ankles for exclusives.

But then Epic is only left with the engine and some fruit ninja mobile nonsense, perhaps it's time to think of new shit.

I can't say I'm too heartbroken by this news. I've never really been a big fan of the series and it's just basically another Dudebro Shooter, which, as has been brought up, has been on the decline lately. Of course, Microsoft specializes in the Dudebro Shooter, so I'm kinda surprised they didn't do this sooner.

Mr.K.:
That's probably why Epic took them up on the offer, they get a massive payout and MS stops chopping at their ankles for exclusives.

But then Epic is only left with the engine and some fruit ninja mobile nonsense, perhaps it's time to think of new shit.

Epic still owns Jazz Jackrabbit, right? I'd love to see him come back.

Oh no - this means more Gears of War games!

Now don't get me wrong, I'm actually a big fan of shooters. But having downloaded the original GoW when it was free on Xbox Live, I can safely say I have never played a more tedious and frustrating game in my life.

I fell out with Gears either during or after the second...I honestly can't remember playing it but anyway; good on Microsoft for acquiring the property outright and, good on Epic for freeing themselves up to make something fun and worthwhile...like maybe another Bulletstorm? Or maybe something completely different?

Welp, that series was dead to me after Judgement; it just wasn't as good as the first three games' campaigns.

Also, Horde mode in GoW 3 was absolute perfection, and was pretty much the only mode that I played (besides the campaign, of course). And honestly, those first three games are the best third person shooters I've played. I've played games like Uncharted as well, but the controls were just bad compared to Gears. Of course, the characters were a lot better in UC, but it wasn't enough to make up for the terrible gameplay.

I mentioned this in another post, but Horde mode does something that most "action" games fail at. It perfectly mixed skill and strategy. Playing with the intention of passing all 50 waves absolutely required a team with headsets and good communication, not to mention the skills needed for a shooter.

Was thinking that its a shame because they had said that it was possible for playstation releases of these games. But only because that'd give blind microsoft fanboys one less "reason" to their claim

Overall though, nothing of value was lost

Mr.K.:

That's probably why Epic took them up on the offer, they get a massive payout and MS stops chopping at their ankles for exclusives.

But then Epic is only left with the engine and some fruit ninja mobile nonsense, perhaps it's time to think of new shit.

Oh yeah, this was absolutely a good idea for Epic for all intents I'm aware of. I was mostly thinking how strange this is for Microsoft. I know they don't have much in the way of gaming franchises, but taking on an established name in decline seems odd. Maybe they got a good deal though, since GoW is doubtless going to make SOME money. I guess it mostly depends on factors we don't really know.

Still, it would behoove Epic to come up with something to replace it.

Isn't Gears of War kind of...over? That ending in Gears 3 pretty finished things up, although in a completely disappointing way that left more questions than answers. But the Lambent are dead, the Locust are dead, and there are not nearly enough humans left to fight each other. So...done?

And I don't want to play any prequel games. We already saw what those come out to be in Judgement. Not very good. Although I suppose they could finish up that storyline with that Onyx girl.

NO! BAD MICROSOFT! It's buy low sell high. We saw this with Zynga and Draw Something.

Sniper Team 4:
Isn't Gears of War kind of...over? That ending in Gears 3 pretty finished things up, although in a completely disappointing way that left more questions than answers. But the Lambent are dead, the Locust are dead, and there are not nearly enough humans left to fight each other. So...done?

Lost space colony! Two generations in the future! Turns out Gears of War is in the Halo universe, look its the covenant!

You can always find more excuses for beating a dead horse/ milking a franchise.

So Microsoft just bought themselves a shark to jump.

Sniper Team 4:
Isn't Gears of War kind of...over? That ending in Gears 3 pretty finished things up, although in a completely disappointing way that left more questions than answers. But the Lambent are dead, the Locust are dead, and there are not nearly enough humans left to fight each other. So...done?

Well, that's what I thought. That story's over, time to move on. It seems to me that Microsoft has bought a played-out franchise.

Louzerman102:
NO! BAD MICROSOFT! It's buy low sell high. We saw this with Zynga and Draw Something.

Sniper Team 4:
Isn't Gears of War kind of...over? That ending in Gears 3 pretty finished things up, although in a completely disappointing way that left more questions than answers. But the Lambent are dead, the Locust are dead, and there are not nearly enough humans left to fight each other. So...done?

Lost space colony! Two generations in the future! Turns out Gears of War is in the Halo universe, look its the covenant!

You can always find more excuses for beating a dead horse/ milking a franchise.

You know what's really funny about that? For a long time, my friends and I were joking about that very thing. The stories had so much in common that we figured we were playing a Halo prequel or something. Think about it:

First game, fighting hostile aliens and it's very clear cut: them or us.
Second game: Things get a bit murky as to who the real enemy is. New enemy introduced that, gasp, takes over a host's body. Original enemy splinters into two factions (Lambent vs. Locust). And don't even get me started on Sires looking like Flood.
Final game: Fire a magical weapon that wipes out the entire threat just like that.

Those sentences could be used to describe the first three Halo games too. I was half expecting to team up with the Locust at some point in 3 in order to combat the greater foe. :-)

Shoggoth2588:
maybe another Bulletstorm?

I thought People Can Fly made Bulletstorm, and Epic just helped them publish it?

Well damn. After Judgement and after the way Microsoft has been handling Halo, This series is pretty much dead to me. I'll just keep on playing Gears of War 3, I'd love to be proven wrong though.

Oh gooood...more Gears of War....and it's Microsoft behind the wheel now eh? Well let's see what contrived bs reasoning they come up with to make Gears of War 4 "Oh wait nope some Locust's survived the death wave" or "there is something worse than the Locust's or Lambent deep down in the planets core, and it has now awoken! Prepare to face an ancient evil!" Hey maybe they'll actually think the story is important enough to actually put in the game this time huh? And maybe it will actually be good?

Not sure why; I was under the impression Gears of War had already kind of peaked as "a thing"

Norix596:
Not sure why; I was under the impression Gears of War had already kind of peaked as "a thing"

Probably because it had; no one liked the latest one and that barely had any marketing anyway so most people who aren't fans have forgotten about it at this point.

Considering how Microsoft likes to let their IP's gather dust (Age of Empires/Mythology anyone?) this is likely the last we'll hear of Gears of War for a long time.

Well, they have Titanfall, but what else does the Xbone have? Microsoft may just be wanting to pull out the big guns. "We've got the Halo, we've got the Gears, we've got the Titanfall, so you're gonna buy the console, right?"

Same kinda thing with Nintendo; some games sell consoles (so where is the next Super Smash Bros? Jesus...)

Hold on, am I the only one who is surprised that Microsoft didn't already have the rights to Gears of War? I practically considered it first party software.

Frankly, when I think of good Microsoft exclusives I say "Halo, Gears of War, ... ?" and that's the end of my list. That this wasn't already theirs is surprising. But I agree with the sentiment that this IP is getting a little stale.

Wait, where have we seen this before in the Microsoft continuum of games/developers? Oh, that's right... 343i. MS buys the rights to Halo, entices a few Bungie employees to jump ship and help create/manage the Halo Franchise. 343i then proceeds to make the absolute worst Halo game with a very hackneyed story.

Gee, it's like Microsoft just can't seem to get it through their heads when to let a IP go or rest it for awhile. I expect that their acquiring of GoW is going to turn into another Halo 4 and 343i moment for them. Except this time there literally is nowhere for the GoW franchise to go in terms of story. Microsoft needs to learn to let it's devs get to work on new IP instead of hopelessly chasing down past glories in an attempt to get them back.

So, i want to say i predicted this when MS announced Halo 4, but honestly it was quite obvious for everyone.
And DAMN!, this news had to come just when i was suspended... Anyway heres my prediction;

The interesting thing about GoW is that it was already in problems when MS bought it, unlike Bungie who went out with Halo Reach or Ensemble with AoE 3.... Gears of War: Judgement wasnt a good way to say goodbye to the franchise.
And so they got to keep Fergusson, just like they kept Frank O'Connor for Halo. Frankie managed to pull a good Campaign for Halo 4 that at least lived up to the task, even tough it had some flaws, but Halos lore is not like GoWs lore.... Because GoW has no lore whatsoever, and presumably Fergusson doesnt care about it neither. I mean seriously the GoW history is dead, they just got their happy ending with the magic machine that killed all the baddies...
And then Fergusson wasnt there when Epic developed the Judgement MP, which was a step in the right direction, because the system upon which GoW2 and GoW3 were based is deeply flawed.
So i dont know what is Fergusson supposed to do in the new Gears of War game, hes not the games loremaster (i suppose not even Blezxcxinski is).
Then of course Black Tusk Studios hasnt earned their stars, they are in a worst position than 343i (which is composed by actual good and talented devs), they dont have any good game in their portfolio and they are owned by MS; which is exactly what i expected from the studio that would take over the GoW IP :D
So the next GoW will be a deeply flawed game (even more than Halo 4) with a nonsense history (or a meaningless prequel), and with a bit of luck, a MP that tries to take steps in the right direction, or not... Oh, and most fans of GoW will hate it either way :(
Thank you MS for fucking yourself :)

 

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