Microsoft has announced today that it has acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games. The firm’s Vancouver-based Black Tusk Studio is taking over development on future titles.
“Today we’re excited to announce that Microsoft Studios has acquired the rights to the Gears Of War franchise from Epic Games, including rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise,” a statement from the company reads, in part.
Microsoft has also announced that former Gears of War producer Rod Fergusson “will join Microsoft and play a key studio leadership role at Black Tusk on the development of the franchise going forward.”
Fergusson departed Epic Games in August 2012 to work on BioShock Infinite at Irrational Games. He left Irrational in April last year after BioShock Infinite was completed, and formed a new 2K Games studio in San Francisco in September.
“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,” a statement from Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney reads, in part. “Epic remains totally dedicated to supporting Xbox One and is licensing the Unreal Engine 4 technology to Microsoft in support of their future projects.”