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A new Gears of War should maybe be “more gritty” – Phil Spencer

Friday, 1st November 2013 05:05 GMT By Ewan Miller

The VP of Microsoft Games Studios Phil Spencer appeared as a guest on IGN’s Podcast Unlocked and talked through everything from Gears of War Judgement’s poorer sales and critical reception to how Rare ended up making Kinect games and not a lot else. Choice quotes after the break.



Speaking to the lack of Gears on the Xbox One, Spencer immediately identified that one of the primary barriers to a new game is that Epic is pretty busy right now, presumably making Fortnight and trying to license the Unreal Engine 4. While he thinks that Epic would be “the right team” to work on a new Gears game, he does think “finding another team to do it” would be possible, but Microsoft would have to be “very careful” in making sure the team fit Gears.

Of course, he also said that Gears would probably have to change a bit, because “it ran its course on 360″ and “doesn’t quite have the story arc of something like Halo”. While he was careful to avoid saying the franchise needed a reboot, he does think it’s time to “step back” and think about how to “expand the universe” of gears. “Maybe make it more gritty.”

Pointing to relationships like the one Microsoft had with Epic, Spencer criticised the “fixation with which studios you own”, arguing that Gears of War wouldn’t have been a better game simply if Microsoft had owned Epic.

“Certain people will look at how many Microsoft-badged employees do you have versus Sony-badged employees, and when they start to weigh the different first parties and I know there are some people that want to own their own studio, be independent, drive their business, and go completely their own way, keep their own culture and I respect that – if people want to work that way, we’ll continue to work with them.”

Of course, one studio Microsoft does wholly own is Rare, whose library from the last few years is composed entirely of Kinect Sports titles, alongside the soon to be released Killer Instinct. However, Phil Spencer died there was any mandate from on high for Rare to only make Kinect titles.

“I don’t force Rare to do anything. Like, forcing a studio to do something is a very short-term ambition as the head of studios because, in the end, people will vote with their feet, and they’ll just go work somewhere else. And Rare has enjoyed the creative, and, frankly, the hit success of [the] Kinect Sports series; it’s been an incredibly successful series for them, and it’s been great for the studio.”

Indeed, he said that last time he spoke to Craig Duncan, Rare’s current head, the two discussed non-Kinect Sports titles the studio might work on, which Spencer said he is “completely supportive of”.

Thanks to IGN’s Podcast Unlocked for such a wide ranging interview.

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14 Comments

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  1. redwood

    “However, Phil Spencer died ” wow.. such typo.. wow

    #1 9 months ago
  2. redwood

    from july :
    http://www.vg247.com/2013/07/01/rare-buy-out-resulted-in-%E2%80%9Cculture-clash%E2%80%9D-says-former-staffer/

    guess people have already voted with their feet.

    #2 9 months ago
  3. xXNapsterManXx

    Hopefully they take some time off and Epic makes another trilogy down the road.

    #3 9 months ago
  4. redwood

    is the gears IP MS owned?

    #4 9 months ago
  5. derpachu

    @6 epic owns the ip I think

    #5 9 months ago
  6. Stardog

    Gears of War needs to be more gritty. It needs a more user-centric approach to really pop and reach its potential as a franchise. It’s crucial for next gen that the gameplay becomes more hyper-local to achieve market penetration, with seamless integration of services. A key point here will be whether this can be done in a performant way with cross-platform convergence, while remaining an innovative diruptive technology. They have to step back and find a team with a dynamic thought leader can drive scalability and co-actionable, responsive, architecture.

    #6 9 months ago
  7. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    Prediction: open-world, seamlessly massively multiplayer Gears Of War, on shelves 2016.

    #7 9 months ago
  8. The_Red

    Yeah, that’s what’s wrong with Gears franchise. Not the repetitive combat, lack of innovation since Gears 2 or horrible storyline (that does a great disservice to the interesting lore and world of Sera).

    No, the problem is that are not enough DARK and GRITTY!

    #8 9 months ago
  9. Henry

    I remember the Gears IP is owned by Epic. How can MS find another developer to do it? It should be Epic who can find another publisher to publish it.

    #9 9 months ago
  10. SCAssassin

    Gears of War needs more dirt digging, get all that grit onto the screen.

    #10 9 months ago
  11. zinc

    Nah, needs more swag… A bit more yolo.

    #11 9 months ago
  12. redwood

    this is weird..
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.268622-Epic-Microsoft-Doesnt-Own-Gears-of-War

    I dunno how they got the other company to develop it..can’t imagine the cute everyone got.. 1 for ms, 1 for epic, 1 for PKF, and than the games goes on to do poor sales..
    Oh well i think the next GoW is gonna be cross play.. wooot :D

    #12 9 months ago
  13. Gheritt White

    Phil might not have forced Rare to do anything, but Don Mattrick is a whole ‘nother story.

    #13 9 months ago
  14. Nephilimator

    Lol gears of war

    #14 9 months ago