As of today, Epic games, the developers behind Gears of War, will no longer own the rights to their franchise, as Microsoft have made the announcement of the IP rights acquisition.
“It all comes back to our commitment to Xbox fans,” said Phil Spencer, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Studios, explaining the reasoning behind purchasing the Gears franchise. “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.”
The acquisition highlights that all future and past Gears of War titles will remain exclusive to Microsoft, dismissing all rumors that the title was heading towards other consoles. Epic Games also released a statement noting that they are happy with this agreement and hoping the best for the future of the franchise.
“Epic Games has reached an agreement to sell the ‘Gears of War’ intellectual property rights to Microsoft. 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,” said Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney. “Epic remains totally dedicated to supporting Xbox One and is licensing the Unreal Engine 4 technology to Microsoft in support of their future projects.”
As for the development team, Microsoft has assigned Black Tusk Studio, whom you may remember from this E3 teaser.
Aside from this, little is known about the team other than that they are working on additional IP’s and are collaborating with some of the most top class developers out there today.