Cliff Bleszinski, who has worked on every installment in the Gears of War series to date, will not have any involvement whatsoever with the franchise moving forward. Following Microsoft's acquisition of the Gears of War franchise today from Epic Games, Bleszinski wrote on his blog that he's looking to the future, not the past.
"I’m not going to move to Vancouver and work on it," Bleszinski said about the possibility of joining new series developer Black Tusk Studios. "I'm not going to consult on it. My headspace is in the future now, not the past. I have come to realize that until you give people something new to focus on they will obsess about the past. (good problem to have!)."
Though Bleszinski won't work on future Gears of War games, Microsoft announced today that longtime designer Rod Fergusson--who worked in a leadership role for numerous Gears of War games--had returned to Microsoft to oversee the future of the franchise.
"To be honest, I don’t think the franchise could be in better hands. Heck, Rod’s Twitter handle, to this day, is 'Gears Viking.' Gears is just as much Rod’s baby as it was mine. He’ll take good care of her," Bleszinski said.
Bleszinski also revealed that Microsoft Studios executive Phil Spencer called him directly last week to inform him of the acquisition news. "Phil, you didn’t have to do that, you’re a gentleman. I appreciate it; that goes a long way," Bleszinski said.
It's not clear if Microsoft made any attempt to convince Bleszinski to return to Microsoft to work alongside Fergusson on the Gears of War franchise.
Whatever the case, Bleszinski said he believes Black Tusk Studios will "do a fantastic job" with the Gears of War series in much the same way that 343 Industries "knocked it out of the park" with Halo after Bungie left the series behind.
As for what Bleszinski is up to next, we don't really know for sure. He apparently has a pitch for a new first-person shooter. He has also spoken previously of a new IP codenamed "Silverstreak" that he'd like to work on some day. Bleszinski left Epic Games in October 2012 after 20 years with the company. He now wants to redefine his legacy.