Gears of War lead and The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson is leaving to join Blizzard Entertainment. Just before Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox plans come into full view, Fergusson has sent out a heartfelt goodbye to his Gears of War family, saying that, “it’s time for a new adventure.” He is joining Blizzard to oversee the Diablo franchise. Fergusson says he will step into his new position in March after starting work on Gears 15 years ago.
Starting in March, I will join Blizzard to oversee the Diablo franchise. Leaving is bittersweet as I love our Gears family, the fans, and everyone at The Coalition and Xbox. Thank you, it has been an honor and a privilege to work with you all. pic.twitter.com/0FuO3RFYSQ
— Rod Fergusson (@GearsViking) February 5, 2020
It seems there isn’t any bad blood between Fergusson and publisher Microsoft, as moments after the news broke, Xbox head Phil Spencer replied with well-wishes.
Thank you @gearsviking for the passion and effort you’ve brought to Gears and Xbox and the work you’ve done to build the world class team at @CoalitionGears Best of luck on your next journey.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) February 5, 2020
The Coalition launched Gears 5 in September of 2019 and is currently working on Gears Tactics. Fergusson was a key member of the team that first brought the Microsoft franchise to life when it debuted in 2006 from Epic Games and has been involved with every entry in the series since. Fergusson joined Epic Games in 2005 and stayed with the then-Gears developer until moving over to the now-closed Irrational Games in 2012. Following a year-stint there, he worked at Black Tusk as a studio manager and then concurrently with The Coalition as studio head.
Blizzard is currently in the middle of developing the highly anticipated Diablo IV, which was revealed at BlizzCon late last year.