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Microsoft purchases "Gears of War" franchise from Epic Games - more content is on the horizon

The Xbox brand name not only stands for the hardware box that has sat under television sets for the last thirteen years, but also the exclusive franchises that have made it completely and utterly unique. Whether you are racing an auto in Forza, shooting down alien forces in Halo, or trying to save the inhabitants of Sera in Gears of War – you will be doing on the Xbox platform. After Gears of War: Judgment was released on the Xbox 360, it appeared the franchise would be winding down, but now Microsoft has stepped forward and purchased the rights to the game from Epic Games.

Gears of War has served as one of the most prominent and well known games for the Xbox platform. Launched in 2006 and continued with three sequels for the Xbox 360, the third person shooter took gamers behind the lines of Delta Squad forces to fight the war of humans and aliens on the fictional planet, Sera. When the games were first released, heavy violence and massive amount of gore may have caught gamer’s initial interests, but quality production has kept fans hooked.

A statement from Epic Games has noted that the company has indeed agreed to sell its “Gears of War” franchise along with property rights to Microsoft. The game development company has stated that it is “very proud of the franchise we built in close partnership with Microsoft over the past decade and are happy this agreement enables Microsoft to forge ahead…”

Phil Spencer of Microsoft has been happy to state Microsoft's rationale behind purchasing the franchise:

"It all comes back to our commitment to Xbox fans. The “Gears of War” franchise has a very strong, passionate and valued fan base on Xbox. Over twenty-two million units have been sold across all “Gears of War” titles worldwide, grossing over $1B dollars (US). This franchise, and these fans, are part of the soul of Xbox. By acquiring this franchise, Microsoft Studios will continue to offer them more of their favorite games and entertainment experiences from the “Gears of War” universe."

For fans of the series, the announcement can only be good news and we should probably expect to see a new Gears of War game launch in wonderful graphic glory on the Xbox One. Future development of the series has been handed over to Black Tusk Studios, which Microsoft cites as a "world-class team with deep experience and passion". When asked when we can expect to hear more, Microsoft has simply stated to wait for more news "later this year". We will have to stay tuned for the Electronic Entertainment Expo later this year, where we will most likely obtain that information.

Are you a Gears of War fan – excited to see the series being revived?

Source: Microsoft

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Reader comments

Microsoft purchases "Gears of War" franchise from Epic Games - more content is on the horizon

97 Comments

Why would PS4 fans care? I don't recall there ever being word GoW would appear on PS. And besides, Sony has plenty of exclusives to satiate it's customers.

Actually the opposite. Over the years many PlayStation fans wanted it to come to their console of choice, and Mike Capps at Epic even once said he would "love to ship it on PlayStation". Now? Never! Hahaha.

You need to visit N4G and you will see the Sony fan boys have been saying for months that gears is coming to the ps4 and today is a big blow for them and a massive plus for Microsoft as this is there 2nd biggest ip behind halo.

We got a Halo game for mobile.  Zune HD users got a Project Gotham Racing game.  Why not a mobile Gears of War game?  They later re-released it for Xbox One (and either have, or soon will, for Xbox 360 too), which may give them more reasons to do it.

YESS!!!! This is my favorite franchise on Xbox alongside Halo!!! So glad their bringing more (never bought judgment so I expect to be impressed coming from 3 :P)

Judgement isn't bad at all. I appreciate a few things about it like increased movement speed. Its story isn't half bad nor is the multiplayer. Better than 3? No. Worth playing, yes :-)

Is this good news?
Let me give you 5 words: Ensemble Studios Age of Empires.

I'm never happy when Microsoft buys game franchises. It doesn't normally end well.
 

How is that even remotely related to this? Epic was no longer going to make Gears of War games.

MS is buying the rights to the franchise, not the game studio.

And? Microsoft buying the games doesn't mean they will actually keep them coming much longer. If they shut down way more famous franchises...I highly doubt this one will last very long.

They said they bought the game to keep content flowing because the franchise was slowing down.. Why so negative all the time, dude❔❔

Gears of War is a far bigger seller than Age of Empires was, so the odds of it continuing are extremely good as long as it keeps selling.  Microsoft bought Halo, and look at how that turned out.  It's all about public appetite.  Age of Empires was excellent, but got squeezed between declining (at that time) PC game sales and RTS declining (at that time) as a genre.

What are you talking about? Gears was pretty much already shut down. Do you think MS is going to buy it now just to keep it shut down? You can't be serious.

Also, Age of Empires hasn't been shut down.

So what's your point again?

i just checked with a friend of mine who works for Epic, and he confirmed that epic had no intentions of continuing the franchise, but microsoft wanted to, so they sold it.

MS-related, no. They have been in a roll of awful news lately. But hey, I was happy to have a WPCentral app released on Android. So it's not like there's nothing that makes me happy.

Why are you here? If you dislike MS what purpose does having a consistent negative spin add to the conversation? I'm not a fan of Google, yet I don't go to their sites and antagonize their fans. It seems that's your purpose and it's simply pretty pathetic.

I've gotten used to DJCBS. He's like the WPCentral Chicken Little. If Chicken Little was a lot more full of hate and spite. ;-)

Now THAT would be awesome. I dreaded what Hollywood would do to Gears of War... a CGI series would be perfectly badass.

Ooooooooooo O.O! Now you have my attention i have heard rumors of the pendulum wars as the next game with don Santiago's older brother maybe

Ah, the life of a pedant.  I'm excited about this news, hoping for re-released/upgraded versions of the original games on Xbox One (ala "Halo: CE Anniversary Edition"), hoping for a mobile brand extension (ala "Halo: Spartan Assault") for Windows 8 and/or Windows Phone.  But all I can focus on is...

"The Xbox brand name not only stands for the hardware box that has sat under television sets for the last thirteen years, but also the exclusive franchises that have made it completely and utterly unique."

The Xbox platform is unique as there is nothing else exactly like it, but for it to be utterly unique there would have to be nothing that bears any similarility to it whatsoever.  As for the 13 year comment, the OG Xbox was first launched 12 years and 2 months ago.  Also...

"For fans of the series, the announcement can only be good news..."

Unless they decided to get a PS4, not knowing this franchise was going to see new life, and would have got an Xbox One if only they'd known.  For those fans fo the series, this announcement may not be perceived as good news.

Sometimes we pedants are our own worst enemies.  :)

As long as they don't ever make a next gears of war like judgement. It was the worst gears ever. They need to go back to roots and make it like gears of war 3

I have a hard time thinking another good Gears of War will be released if Epic isn't making it.  Judgement put a horrible taste in my mouth and I was a huge GoW fanboy.

I'm very happy at the prospect of GOW coming to Xbox One, but... I'm also hoping its not at the expense of 'the next' GOW franchise. Here's hoping Epic have agreed this sale with the intention of funding their next, next gen franchise!

Or they can use a new graphic engine for remaking the original Gears game and bring it to XBOX ONE (with all multiplayer maps in gears 1 2 & 3 (I don't care about Judgment..) )

Loved gears of was 1, fun strategy shooter team orientated.

Like gears 2, but little less of those two qualities.

Could have done without #3, just seemed like pray and spray call of duty.

I think that this was less about stopping the series from "winding down," and more about keeping Epic from releasing what could arguably be called the premier third-person shooter (not that it's a highly-competitive genre) of its time on competing platforms. There had been hints that Gears might make it to the PS4 next time around, leading me to beleive that Microsoft was aiming to stop that over anything else.

Now, the problem becomes where the franchise goes. Judgment (which I never got around to playing, admittedly) served a purpose within the story, as a prequel. What remains to be seen is how they could released sequels to s series in which the main plot was about a now-ended war.

Apparently Black Tusk will take this, but we know nothing of what they can do, mostly because they have done nothing so far. That they got the head of the Gears franchise from before to join the crew is a plus, but this is another 343 matter--we won't know if they're any good at this until they've done it.

343 did a great job with the single player, but their multiplayer left a lot to be desired (or not desired, as it was covered in CoD-like extras a lot of folks didn't care for). Hopefully Gears stays close to its roots. If they try to kill it by taking it first-person...

I have had some great Gears games some time ago. I think it is always good for the Xbox to have more. I would like to also see them trying to grab content that was previously available to both PS products and previous Xbox ones. I would love to see MS look at multiple back catalogues, and pull out some classics. I do think it is a real pity that they lost Trials.

YES! Finally we might get to see what Fenix and his team will do after the end in the 3'rd? I always wanted to see Fenix setting down, maybe help humanity rebuild Sera ... what is left. Never even bought GoV: Judgment because I found the story of Fenix to important in the end. I don't need to know more details of what have been. Its time to look ahead and focus on ... survival.

Maybe the Gears will face a new enemy. What really makes it Gears of War is the play style and universe it's set in.

That's good news. I'm a fan. On a side note, is anyone experiencing issues with Kinect understanding them. In the beginning it understood everything I said to it without issue. Now, I find myself repeating commands...

Ugh....... I personally couldn't stand Gears of War. It felt like such a chore to play and at times would put me to sleep. However, I still consider this a good move by Microsoft.