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Microsoft on Monday revealed plans to purchase the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will include all current and future games as well as merchandise and entertainment experiences according to a blog post on the matter from the official Xbox blog.
Under the Microsoft banner, Gears of War will now be developed at Black Tusk Studios (formerly known as Microsoft Vancouver) in Vancouver, BC. What's more, former director of production at Epic Games on the Gears of War franchise, Rod Fergusson, is joining the team and will play a key leadership role at Black Tusk.
Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer said they purchased the franchise because of their commitment to Xbox fans. With over 22 million units sold across all Gears of War titles worldwide grossing more than $1 billion, there's a very strong and passionate fan base on Xbox.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said his company is proud of the franchise they built in close partnership with Microsoft over the past decade. The agreement will enable the Redmond-based company to forge ahead with the 'Gears' universe and allow Epic to focus their efforts on new projects.
It certainly makes sense for Microsoft to purchase the franchise as it will ensure the title will remain an Xbox exclusive for the foreseeable future. Fans of the series will have no choice but to stick with Microsoft consoles if they wish to continue to get their fix and will ultimately need to purchase an Xbox One within a couple of years to do so.