Microsoft Studios Acquires "Gears of War" Rights

Franchise stays Xbox-exclusive, moves to developer Black Tusk Studios

Understandably keen on keeping the series exclusive to Xbox, Microsoft Studios announced the acquisition of the rights to the Gears of War franchise from creator Epic Games. This covers all of the existing Gears of War games and any future games, development of which will be moved to Black Tusk Studios. 


Based in Vancouver, Black Tusk is bringing in former Epic Games executive producer and director of production Rod Fergusson, who oversaw development of the first three Gears of War games. He'll continue overseeing the franchise along with Black Tusk general manager Hanno Lemke as it grows at the new studio.  


Fergusson, who transitioned from Epic to Irrational Games in August 2012, leaving the latter after the completion of Bioshock Infinite, most recently joined 2K Games. He expressed his enthusiasm at returning to Microsoft, where he worked from 1996 to 2006, while speaking with Polygon.


Microsoft isn't quite ready to discuss its plans for Gears of War, but you can read more from the parties involved at the link above. In the meantime, those curious about Black Tusk Studios can see an example of their work in a conceptual teaser shown at last year's E3. It wasn't for anything that actually came to fruition, but it was done in Unreal and used to get the team's juices flowing.




Joseph Luster is the Games and Web editor at Otaku USA Magazine. His blog can be found at subhumanzoids. Follow him on Twitter at @Moldilox.

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