Back in November 2006, former Microsoft corporate vice president of global marketing Jeff Bell made explicit reference to a "Gears of War trilogy" just weeks after the first Gears of War came out. And until Gears of War 2 was officially unveiled at the 2008 Game Developers Conference, both the Microsoft and Gears developer Epic Games refused to say a sequel was being planned. The denials came despite the fact Epic design director Cliff Bleszinski specifically mentioned a sequel during a session at GDC 2007.
Now, in the course of shooting down a rumor that he might be working on a survival horror project, Bleszinski has teased the (obvious) prospect of a third Gears project being in the works. Speaking to Official Xbox Magazine UK, the outspoken designer said, "No, I'm not making a horror game next. Gears is very much near and dear to me."
"There's only been two Gears games, man," he continued. "There's still plenty of opportunities for things you can do in a cover-based shooter, and there's still a lot of stories to tell in the Gears universe. I'm not burned out on that at all." As recently as last October (see video below), Bleszinski said there were no plans for a Gears trilogy, and that Epic was handling the franchises on "a game by game basis."
The designer's mention of "stories" points to new plot-driven content, not mere multiplayer map packs. So far, though, the only new post-Gears of War 2 single-player experience to be officially announced is the Gears of War 2: Dark Corners expansion. "New" is a bit of a misnomer because the one single-player chapter, called "Road to Ruin," in the expansion was cut from Gears of War 2.
Dark Corners also sports seven multiplayer maps and will be available worldwide on July 28 for download a la carte via Xbox Live or as part of the Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection retail disc. Priced at $19.99/£14.99/€19.99, the All Fronts collection also contains three previously released maps, an Xbox Live theme, a collectible poster, a strategy guide, and a video introduction from one Clifford Bleszinski.