Microsoft’s Black Tusk will make “innovative Gears Of War,” claims Lobb

Tuesday, 8th April 2014 12:48 GMT By Dave Cook

Gears of War Xbox One developer Black Tusk is going to make an innovative entry to the series, according to Microsoft Game Studio’s Ken Lobb, who has discussed the new shooter, the departure of Killer Instinct developer Double Helix Games and more in a new interview.


Lobb made his comments in a new Edge interview, which explained that he was instrumental in the discusssions that led Metroid Prime to become a first-person title. The man’s not afraid of suggesting big risks, clearly.

He is now involved across all of Microsoft’s first-party studios. When asked what he thought of Black Tusk taking over the Gears of War IP – following its acquisition from Epic Games – Lobb replied, “I actually have tons of respect for Chuck [Osieja, creative director] and all the guys up at Black Tusk. I think the reality is what we have is innovative Gears Of War. That’s what I believe they’re going to make.

“They’re an internal studio, but the reality is it’s cool to have [an IP] that can be a grand slam right out of the gate. The concepts they’ve been toying with are awesome. You take what they were thinking about and their expertise on Unreal Engine 4, because that’s what they’ve been playing with since their founding, and really go with the IP. Again, this was a mutually agreed thing. It’s not, ‘Here’s this thing you must take.’ That’s not the way Phil [Spencer] works; that’s not the way we work.”

On Double Helix – which was recently purchased by Amazon – Lobb continued, “[Double Helix] gave us their best pitch for Killer Instinct and that was a prototype that was playable. I was deeply involved in Killer Instinct 1 and 2 working at Nintendo with Rare. I designed the core combo system and worked closely with them on basically every character on the game and all the animations. It’s an IP that I love dearly, both from the memory of working with these guys and also because it’s kind of fun to go to the arcade and win a lot.

“I was able to bring some of that back. [Creative director] Adam Isgreen ran the product internally, and we had a bunch of great designers working with Double Helix to make the game. That was a game where I went literally no more than two or three days without looking at it for pretty much the whole time it was in development. I love the genre, so I cared a lot about making sure the game was balanced.”

Iron Galaxy, the same team behind the re-release of Street Fighter III: Third Strike, is now in charge of Killer Instinct. Lobb teased that Microsoft now has plans for the series that he feels, “players will be happy with.”

We’ll have more on the new Gears of War when it drops. Stay tuned.



  1. Legendaryboss

    New Studio, New People = Gears Of Wars Xbox One.

    Not that there is any sign to worry, People Can Fly did a okay job under Epic’s supervision so i’m sure this studio without Epic’s supervision will do an even better…..


    Iron Galaxy are working on Killer Instinct and Borderlands 2 PS Vita port, they must be a large indie studio.

    #1 8 months ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @Legendaryboss Yep Iron Galaxy is developing Killer Instinct now. They do a lot of ports.

    #2 8 months ago
  3. Erthazus

    Not sure that they can make it right.

    Behind Gears Of War was Cliff blezinski and Epic Games team that is super talented since Unreal Tournament.

    #3 8 months ago
  4. Mike W


    Yea but Gears of War 2 & 3 were not that great. I have faith that they can reboot the series hopefully.

    #4 8 months ago
  5. melonbuster1

    It will rock.. and it will sell millions

    #5 8 months ago
  6. foofly

    Is the innovation less brown?

    #6 8 months ago
  7. ddtd

    @Erthazus Black Tusk has Rod Fergusson though, so a key member of the original trilogy’s team is leading development.

    #7 8 months ago
  8. mistermogul

    Is VG247 owned by MS these days?

    #8 8 months ago
  9. Edo

    Interesting…I expected them to say “it will be exactly the same”.

    #9 8 months ago
  10. Mike W


    what makes you say that?

    #10 8 months ago
  11. Mike W


    If there’s any site that is pro Xbox these days, it has to be foundry.

    #11 8 months ago
  12. Hcw87

    Oh man, the tears @8.

    Every MS article man. What’s wrong? All these childish accusations.

    Lets stop posting news articles involving MS so the Sony fanboys don’t get their panties in a bunch. Jesus.

    #12 8 months ago
  13. kingy

    If it’s good it gives me a reason to buy a Xbox one because I secretly want one
    (No pun intended)

    #13 8 months ago
  14. Mike W


    One thing that disappointed me about the gears series were the enemies. It appears the lore behind the series is massive, so I would have like to see different enemy types, but instead we got the same type for the most part.

    #14 8 months ago
  15. CPC_RedDawn

    The franchise has come a long way from being the Tech Demo that was shown by Epic to Microsoft in hopes Microsoft would bump up the 256MB RAM to 512MB RAM for the 360 which they did after seeing the demo.

    It has potential, and Gears 1 you could tell was them testing the water, they didn’t push anything in terms of story but more graphics and gameplay. The second was excellent, with them going head on to tackle story, and I never played the 3rd.

    They need to focus on the story even more, get those cut scenes in a mo cap studio and get some REAL emotion in there among all the guns and muscles.

    #15 8 months ago
  16. Panthro



    #16 8 months ago
  17. sho0ok

    @Panthro shut up goof

    #17 8 months ago
  18. The_Red

    Both God of War 4 and Gears of War 4 are in serious need of fresh blood. While I’m not sure about the former (After the layoffs and drama at Sony Santa Monica), I am really hopefully for the latter. Black Tusk seems like a solid studio.

    That said, I don’t think any AAA game can claim to be really “innovative”, even the new Gears from a new studio.

    #18 8 months ago
  19. sho0ok

    @The_Red who knows what are they gonna do, it’s years ahead of its release. We just have to wait and see, and the earliest I think we will hear about it in E3 2015 and release date in 2016.

    #19 8 months ago
  20. Persia13

    Not the same without Cliff, Gears died after he left Epic Games.

    #20 8 months ago
  21. ij 44

    Who will give me £1000 when “innovative” turns out to be microtransactions?

    #21 8 months ago

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