Gears of War IP acquired by Microsoft, Rod Fergusson & Black Tusk to helm series

Monday, 27th January 2014 17:06 GMT By Dave Cook

Gears of War has been purchased by Microsoft, bringing the rights to Epic’s series in-house at Microsoft. Former Epic member Rod Fergusson has joined the company, with new first-party team Black Tusk taking over development.

gears of war 1 reports that he Gears of War acquisition has not been given a dollar value, and Microsoft’s Phil Spencer confirmed that the deal covers all aspects of the IP – referring to all existing Gears titles and attached assets.

Microsoft’s Vancouver outfit Black Tusk Studios is now in charge of the series, helmed by the studio’s general manager Hanno Lemke and Rod Fergusson.

In a statement given to the site, Spencer called Black Tusk’s role in the Gears of War franchises, “a big vote of confidence,” and added, “It’s kind of nice he can tie the franchise, the culture, bring it all together, and really help with the talent we already have up at Black Tusk to get the franchise going with a new organization.”

Fergusson added, “I’m extremely excited to be joining Black Tusk Studios to oversee development on the Gears of War franchise. I’ve been privileged to work on a lot of great games with a lot of great teams, but Gears has had the most impact on me professionally and personally, so this really feels like a homecoming. I can’t wait to share more with you all soon.”

As for Epic, studio spokesperson Wes Philips tweeted that the company is still making games, and has multiple projects in development, including Fortnite.

Are you looking forward to see the new face of Gears of War on Xbox One? Let us know below.



  1. BrokenSpline

    Well this is disappointing. MS just doesn’t want to do new IPs. I doubt Black Tusk will be able to keep the torch for Gears series going.

    #1 10 months ago
  2. 0790056245

    New IPs coming to Xbox One:

    Project Spark,
    Sunset Overdrive,
    Quantum Break,
    Fantasia: Music Evolved,
    and Below.

    They also brought back Killer Instinct, and the new Fable is a drastic change from the previous games.

    #2 10 months ago
  3. ManuOtaku

    I think is for the best, epic could focus on new games for multiplatforms, and microsoft can carry on gears.
    Having said that, i wonder if this covers the unreal license as well

    #3 10 months ago
  4. Belmont

    Not bad. Waiting to see what happens.

    #4 10 months ago
  5. BrokenSpline


    Inflating those numbers there as Below and Cobalt are not exclusives.

    Also with Minecraft now on the PS3, I suspect that Cobalt will be doing the same. I was talking about MS specifically not what 3rd parties are doing for the system.

    List what MS is doing internally and the only new title from their own studios is Quantum Break.

    #5 10 months ago
  6. Gheritt White


    #6 10 months ago
  7. Major Mayhem 70

    I sense saltiness in the room.

    Anyways, good deal for X1 owners. I hope this new studio can bring some freshness to the Gears of War franchise. Excited to see what they do with this great game.

    #7 10 months ago
  8. ddtd

    @3 – According to IGN’s report, Unreal is part of the deal.

    Also, note that Rod Fergusson was a producer and director for Gears 1-3 at Epic (not Judgement), so Black Tusk isn’t going into this completely cold.

    #8 10 months ago
  9. tezzer1985

    Great move by MS, to pick up the IP

    #9 10 months ago
  10. monkeygourmet

    Smooth MS… Real smooth… Pick up an IP that’s done.

    The last title showed Gears has become a bit of a dinosaur, unless they reboot (which MS almost certainly won’t), this seems like a waste of time.

    #10 10 months ago
  11. Erthazus

    It’s going to be on the Unreal Engine 4 so we will see how it goes.

    #11 10 months ago
  12. jomac3db

    I just bought the x1 but I’ve been sony forever. I really want them to release a gears of war collection on x1. I think that game is the best

    #12 10 months ago
  13. jomac3db

    @6 they are cause sony has way better exclusives like infamous, uncharted, 1886 the order, deep down and more. But I got an x1 now so I’m in the game

    #13 10 months ago
  14. Obernox

    #14 10 months ago
  15. The_Red

    Hopefully this means the next Gears game can have a decent story and some character development rather than laughable attempts from Epic (In narrative terms).

    #15 10 months ago
  16. ddtd

    @15 – You didn’t like the dude-bro Rome of the first three? :)

    #16 10 months ago
  17. ddtd

    Er…”dude-bro romance” is what I meant to type.

    #17 10 months ago
  18. The_Red

    My main problem was with their attempts at emotional resonance and themes. Finding Dom’s wife in 2nd game and watching him die in the 3rd should have been tragic moments, not laughably bad scenes on par with The Room.

    #18 10 months ago
  19. Osric

    Hope this brings the whole series to Steam. Hope what I’m saying makes sense.

    #19 10 months ago
  20. LB

    This was a good move locking down the Gears Of War IP to remain a permanent now first party exclusive to Xbox.

    #20 10 months ago

Comments are now closed on this article.