Polygon has reported that third parties are hard at work with Black Tusk Studios to bring a Gears of War re-master to Xbox One.
Gears of War was one of the relatively few blockbuster exclusives enjoyed by the Xbox 360, originally owned and developed by Epic Games. Microsoft purchased the property last year to ensure it remains part of the Xbox line-up.
Gears head Rod Fergusson tweeted last year to debunk rumours of a Marcus Fenix Collection - essentially a Gears of War version of the Master Chief Collection, stating that Black Tusk are indeed working on "other Gears of War projects". It seems one of those projects could be a port of the original Gears of War to Xbox One.
The Polygon report implicates both Plastic Wax and Splash Damage (Brink, Batman: Arkham Origins) in the game's development, the latter of which has been advertising job listings to work on a "very well known and highly popular AAA title". Polygon also stated that they'd been shown stills of improved visuals and cinematics from the re-master, but haven't shown them off as of yet.
In addition to Polygon, XboxMAD and Kotaku began issuing their own reports that a beta build went live briefly in the Xbox store, and provided the below screenshots. A source familiar to XboxMAD claims to have confirmed the existence of the build, which apparently read "bla bla bla bla" in the main menu description until it was updated.
Some will find it odd that Microsoft may only be revamping Gears of War, comparing it to Halo: Master Chief Collection's 4-game box-set, but one could argue that hitting 4 re-developed Xbox and Xbox 360 games simultaneously was perhaps over-ambitious. Halo: MCC was marred by launch issues, primarily surrounding its multiplayer components. Re-mastering one game at a time may prove to be a smarter development decision in the long run.
Standard fare with rumours is to take them with a pinch of salt until officially confirmed, but the coalescence of all these reports makes it seem hard to refute. Keep your eyes (and lancers) trained firmly towards E3.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!