Gears of War 3 screenshot
Gears of War 3 screenshot

Microsoft has acquired the rights to the Gears of War IP from Epic Games, with new studio Black Tusk set to take over development of the franchise.

In a post announcing the acquisition, Microsoft Game Studios' corporate VP Phil Spencer revealed that the platform holder had hired Gears of War 3's executive producer Rod Fergusson to overlook the series at Black Tusk, with more details on the game's development due "later this year".

"I'm extremely excited to be joining Black Tusk Studios to oversee development on the 'Gears of War' franchise," said Fergusson. "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."

Gears of War 3 screenshot

Fergusson left Epic in August 2012 to help finish Irrational Games' BioShock Infinite. He later revealed that he had helped form a new studio with 2K where he served as studio head.

"Black Tusk has assembled a world-class team with deep experience and passion for the shooter space, and specifically the 'Gears of War' franchise," added Spencer. "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."

Black Tusk's first project was previously confirmed to be a "highly ambitious, all-original new IP," with a first glimpse teased during last year's E3.

And while Spencer claims that that title hasn't "been shelved", it appears that the title may evolve into Gears of War.

"This obviously isn't something that started yesterday in terms of our discussions with Epic," he told

"Hanno [Lemke, General Manager of Black Tusk Studio]'s been involved for quite a while, so he's known that this is something we could land. And the leadership team there obviously knew as they started to build their road map for what they would be focused on. I wouldn't say things have been shelved. Obviously, this will become a big focus of the studio and something that will be critical to them driving forward. There's not really something that was on the road map that all of a sudden goes away."


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User Comments


Rod on board with a new Gears is WIN.
Posted 18:28 on 27 January 2014
essex1212's Avatar


Another one?

That was the big announcement?
Posted 16:59 on 27 January 2014
Karlius's Avatar


I read the news and thought oh no. Then I read Rod was on board. Now I can't wait!!
Posted 16:28 on 27 January 2014
MJTH's Avatar


I think what is more interesting to me, isn't that Microsoft bought the rights to Gears of War, but the fact that Epic sold them to begin with. Gears (and Infinity Blade for iOS) were really the only franchises that Epic had a hand in any more. Now with Gears gone and the Infinity Blade trilogy finished what's next?

Unreal revival? New IP? Fortnite actually being released? Or are they going to sit on their laurels and just make engines for the next generation? For such a big Publisher/ developer their current work portfolio is seemingly rather empty right now.
Posted 16:02 on 27 January 2014
Bretty's Avatar


Smart purchase from Microsoft. I hope they don't go for yearly editions of the game though.

Out of curiosity does anybody know yet how much the deal cost?
Posted 15:29 on 27 January 2014
WhatISayGoes's Avatar


I love how Microsoft and their studios are always coming up with new IP's and new concepts. LOOOL
Xbox is poopy.
Posted 15:26 on 27 January 2014

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 20/09/2011
Developer: Epic Games
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Third-person shooter
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 609 172
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