GAMES CONSOLE MAKER Microsoft has proudly bagged Gears of War to make the game an exclusive title for its Xbox One console.
The firm began teasing about a big games announcement earlier today with messages from Xbox town crier Major Nelson, and it was Nelson and the Xbox Wire that delivered the news this afternoon.
The firm has acquireed the rights to future Gears of War titles, intellectual property and merchandising from Epic Games and has lined up a new team to take over running the title.
Vancouver, Canada based Black Tusk Studios will take over game's development, and Rod Fergusson, who was the director of production for the game at Epic Games, has joined Microsoft and will lead the project or projects.
Microsoft Studios chief Phil Spencer and Black Tusk Studios GM Hanno Lemke were on hand to tell the Microsoft marketing machine what good news this is.
"The 'Gears of War' franchise has a very strong, passionate and valued fan base on Xbox. Over 22 million units have been sold across all 'Gears of War' titles worldwide, grossing over $1bn," said Spencer in a paragraph that could have simply said, "The franchise will make good money."
"This franchise, and these fans, are part of the soul of Xbox. By acquiring this franchise, Microsoft Studios will continue to offer them more of their favorite games and entertainment experiences from the 'Gears of War' universe," Spencer added.
Equally warm was Lemke, and he added that Microsoft will continue to work with Epic Games.
Epic Games said that the Unreal 4 engine has been licensed to Redmond, adding that it is happy with the deal. "Epic Games has reached an agreement to sell the 'Gears of War' intellectual property rights to Microsoft," said Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney in a statement.
"We're very proud of the franchise we built in close partnership with Microsoft over the past decade and are happy that this agreement enables Microsoft to forge ahead with the 'Gears' universe on their industry leading platforms as Epic concentrates its efforts on new projects." µ
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