Yesterday, Microsoft's Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Studios, posted a rather cryptic tweet stating "personally going to be a good day tomorrow, looking forward to a games announce coming early in the morning, fun part of the job." For hours, we sat in anticipation as to what this announcement would be. Turns out, Microsoft has purchased the 'Gears of War' franchise from Epic Games.
"Today we're excited to announce that Microsoft Studios has acquired the rights to the “Gears of War” franchise from Epic Games, including rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise. In addition, we are excited to announce that Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver, BC will take over development of the “Gears of War” franchise and that Rod Fergusson, former Director of Production at Epic Games on the “Gears of War” franchise, will join Microsoft and play a key studio leadership role at Black Tusk on the development of the franchise going forward," Microsoft stated in an official blog post.
When asked why Microsoft acquired the franchise, Phil Spencer stated that the Gears of War franchise was part of the soul of Xbox, with a strong, passionate, and valued fan base. Spencer also revealed that over 22 million units have been sold across all Gears of War titles, worldwide, grossing over $1 billion dollars.
Epic Games will continue to be a partner and "good friend" of Microsoft Studios after the acquisition. Microsoft plans to share more about Gears of War later this year. Perhaps a new title for the Xbox One?