Microsoft Studios has acquired the rights to Gears of War IP from series creator Epic Games, “including rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise,” Microsoft has announced.
The platform holder’s Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver will take over development of Gears of War series and former Epic Games director of production Rod Fergusson has joined Black Tusk “to play a key studio leadership role on the development” of the franchise.
In a post on Xbox Wire, Fergusson said: “I’m extremely excited to be joining Black Tusk Studios to oversee development on the “Gears of War” franchise.
I’ve been privileged to work on a lot of great games with a lot of great teams, 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.”
Fergusson departed from Epic Games in August 2012 to help finish Irrational Games’ BioShock Infinite. He then left Irrational to help form a new studio with 2k.
Head of Microsoft Studios, Phil Spencer says, “Black Tusk has assembled a world-class team with deep experience and passion for the shooter space, and specifically the “Gears of War” franchise.
I am extremely confident that under the leadership of Hanno Lemke, Rod Fergusson and our other leaders in the studio, Black Tusk is well equipped to take on the future development of the “Gears of War” franchise.”
General Manager of Black Tusk Studios, Hanno Lemke explains why Epic agreed the acquisition: “Epic has been a tremendous partner to work with, and it has been a privilege for Microsoft to be Epic’s publishing partner and work together to achieve the phenomenal success of the “Gears of War” games.
Epic remains great partners and good friends of Microsoft Studios. In fact we will collaborate closely with Epic to ensure the inclusion of the Unreal Engine technology into the “Gears of War” franchise going forward remains consistent with the high quality fans have come to expect from the franchise.”
Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney issued a statement: “Epic Games has reached an agreement to sell the ‘Gears of War’ intellectual property rights to Microsoft.
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.”
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