The Coalition, formerly known as Black Tusk, worked on a new IP for Microsoft before it became the Gears of War studio.
Before The Coalition studio got its name, it used to be called Black Tusk and was working on an new in-house IP. We never saw what that game was, save for the E3 2013 teaser, but that doesn’t mean the studio wasn’t already hard at work at it before everything had to be thrown away to make room for Gears of War after Microsoft had acquired the franchise rights.
As part of a big feature on The Coalition on Polygon, the studio shared some insight into how it all went down. According to studio manager Mike Crump, the studio was faced with a choice: continue working on the new IP, or work on a new entry in the Gears of War franchise.
“Microsoft was in discussions with Epic. We were hugely invested in what we were working on. You don’t spend a year and a half working on a game without getting attached to it. There was a lot of discussion,” said Crump, adding that the decision wasn’t easy.
“I’d be lying if I said there weren’t some people on the team who were disappointed when they found out the thing they’d been working on for so long was going to be shelved.
“If you’ve been in the game industry long enough, you’re going to go through project cancellations. People go through this period of mourning a bit. You have to give them that space and time to go through that, the sense of loss that people have around something they’re invested in.”
The final decision was a “no-brainer,” according to Crump. “We went around the table and everybody was in favor of going for Gears of War,” he added.
Gears of War 4 will the studio’s first game, not counting the Gears of War remaster.