Category Archives: Gears of war : E-Day
The new Gears of War game currently in development at Microsoft’s Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver is shaping up well, according to Xbox executive Aaron Greenberg. He visited the studio recently, and reports on Twitter that he left feeling “very impressed” with what he saw.
He adds that the Gears of War franchise is “in good hands with a very talented team.” Microsoft acquired the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games earlier this year, and put Black Tusk Studios to work on the game, which will presumably be released for at least the Xbox One.
Though Cliff Bleszinski–an instrumental designer on the original trilogy–is not working on the new game (he has his own thing now), Microsoft has hired veteran Gears of War producer Rod Fergusson to lead development for it.
It is still early days for the new Gears of War game (it’s in the concept/prototype phase), and no assets for the title have been released yet beyond some purposefully blurry concept art. Fergusson says, however, that the new game will retain the essence of the Gears of War series while also pushing the franchise forward. He also says that Microsoft’s acquisition of the series allows Black Tusk to “expand its breadth and do a lot more stuff with it.”
Stephen Toulouse, who was a Microsoft employee for 18 years before departing in 2012, has rejoined his former company. Toulouse will be joining Rod Fergusson’s team at Black Tusk on the next Gears of War project as the director of community engagement. The news was announced on Major Nelson’s podcast.
Toulouse served as Xbox Live’s director of policy and enforcement, setting the tone for the gaming division’s community standards. In that role, Toulouse instituted a policy change that allowed users to express their sexual orientation in their Gamertags. Prior to the 2010 revision, users were prohibited from doing so, touching off a widespread call for reform.
Since leaving Microsoft, Toulouse served as director of product management for Gaems (portable gaming entertainment cases) and has been with HBO as an infrastructure project manager.
[Source: Major Nelson]
The Gears of War franchise has a lot of life left in it, according to Microsoft Studios executive Phil Spencer. Speaking with Kotaku, Spencer said Microsoft is in “active” discussions about the future of the franchise, but stopped short of confirming a new entry in the series.
“I’m a huge fan of the franchise,” Spencer said. “I want to continue to work with Gears. I think there’s a lot of life left in that franchise. We had an internal discussion on it even yesterday. It’s something that’s active in discussion about what we can do with Gears.”
Gears of War fans eager for a follow-up to this year’s Gears of War: Judgment may want to get comfortable, as Spencer said “there’s nothing even pending that I’m holding to announce.” That said, he explained that the importance of the franchise to gamers is not lost on him.
“I understand the importance of the franchise to the Xbox platform and to gamers–I’d say gamers first. It’d be great to do something forward with that franchise.”
Since its inception, the Gears of War franchise has been exclusive to Xbox and PC. Spencer declined to say if this status would change going forward, deferring to Epic for that question.
“It’s Epic’s franchise,” he said. “You and I both know that. I can’t make any assurances about anybody else’s franchise. It’s Epic’s game and we have to talk to them about a partnership and what they want to do. As you know, you probably know right now they’re more focused on other areas of their business right now.”
Gears of War creator Epic Games has no announced projects beyond the PC-exclusive Fortnite. Gears of War: Judgment was principally developed by Poland-based subsidiary Epic Games Poland (formerly known as People Can Fly).
Also in the interview, Spencer discussed the Xbox platform’s status in Japan, a region where the system has never been hugely popular. He said Microsoft has closed deals for new titles, described as “full Japanese games” that are more substantial that downloadable projects.
We have signed some things in Japan that we haven’t announced that we’ll announce in… ’14 so that people get to hear about support in Japan,” Spencer said.
Spencer also teased that Microsoft is potentially interested in older franchises, including a reboot of Phantom Dust. “It’s a discussion right now; there’s nothing signed. But we’re talking. It does seem like there’s a lot of interest around that.”
“Gears of War is developed by Epic Games, and they’ve been our partners for a long time on Xbox 360. You should ask Epic Games about what they want to do,” Spencer explained.
“We haven’t announced anything yet about Gears of War, but we hope to bring it to Xbox One in some form. However, there’s nothing more I can tell you at this time,” he added.
A number of high profile members of the original Gears of War development team have left Epic Games, such as Chris Wynn, Cliff Bleszinski and Rod Fergusson.
The most recent Gears of War was developed by Bulletstorm studio People Can Fly.
© Epic Games
Gears of War: Judgement
Released in March, Gears of War: Judgment is believed to have under-performed at retail.
Gears of War: Judgment is available now on Xbox 360.