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?