Gears of War can "do a lot more" now that Microsoft owns it

Black Tusk producer Rod Fergusson says Microsoft owning the IP means "we can expand its breadth and do a lot more stuff with it."

During a special Twitch stream last night, Black Tusk producer Rod Fergusson, who is leading development on the new Gears of War game for Xbox One, discussed the project and even showed off a piece of concept art, though it's quite blurry. Check it out below.

"It's only been 100 days, so I can't go into a lot of depth about a lot of things," Fergusson said about the new Gears of War. "This isn't going to be the place where I can announce the name of the next game and all these sorts of things. Obviously, it's going to take some time to get to a point where we can do so."

"We are in what we would call the concept/prototype phase so we're really super early," he added.

Discussing the challenges of starting a new studio and working on such a major franchise, Fergusson said: "The hardest part is getting people up to speed on the way you make Gears. Everybody here is a Gears of War fan; everybody's played the games and loved the games. But there's a sort of style; the way you have to think about when you make a Gears of War game."

Fergusson pointed out that the Gears of War franchise has a lot of rules, design methodologies, and central pillars that go into making a great experience. Making sure everyone at Black Tusk is on the same page and trending toward the same goal is another challenge, Fergusson said.

An advantage Fergusson says Black Tusk has in making the new Gears of War game for Xbox One is that Microsoft now owns the IP. The backing and support of Microsoft means Black Tusk can "push a lot harder" in many "major areas," he said. "I think the franchise can do a lot more now that Microsoft owns the IP. We can expand its breadth and do a lot more stuff with it."

Gears of War Xbox One concept art.

Fergusson went on to say that Black Tusk benefits from coming at the Gears of War series with fresh sets of eyes. Of course, Fergusson is a Gears of War veteran, having worked on the original trilogy, but the team he's assembled around him is new to the series. He pointed out that Epic Games spent seven years making Gears of War games, and, "After you've made the same game for seven years, it's a little bit harder, like 'how do I make it different?' And I think you might have picked up a little of that out of Gears of War: Judgment."

What Black Tusk brings to the Gears of War franchise is "raw enthusiasm," as well as passion and energy, Fergusson said. He went on to say that it's not uncommon for watercooler conversations, and awkward urinal conversations, to be about Gears of War.

It's likely that the next Gears of War game for Xbox One will have some form of multiplayer mode, and though Fergusson didn't give specifics, he did offer up his thoughts about what defines a Gears of War multiplayer experience.

"It really is about intensity and about responsibility and about accountability," Fergusson said. He said in Call of Duty games, he feels like an individual (because he doesn't play with clans), and though there are 11 other people on his team, "I feel like I have my own personal objectives, I want to unlock my red lasersight or what have you, but I'm not really so [caring] about the results of the match or the well-being of my team. Whereas in Gears...nothing gets my palms sweaty more than you know that it's on you; so when you die you know I left my team a man short. And now that's why I feel this sense of accountability. As we look forward, we have to really focus on and double down on is the idea of owning what it is that makes Gears unique and embracing what is Gears instead of potentially taking a different [approach]."

Lastly, Fergusson said Black Tusk will do its best to stay true to Gears of War canon for its new game, but he made it clear that the studio won't have any reservations about deviating if it's in the interest of fun.

"If you know anything about me, I always believe fun is greater than canon," Fergusson said. "That's not to say I'm going out of my way to destroy canon…" He pointed out that Black Tusk will pay tribute to existing Gears of War novels as much as they can, but, "if I get to a situation that I have to make a decision between what's really fun that may invalidate a comic book, odds are that I'm going to make that fun decision."

There's no release date, or even a title, for the new Gears of War game for Xbox One. Microsoft's E3 2014 briefing is slated for June 9, and the company plans to announce new games and new sequels during the event, though it's unclear if Gears of War will be part of the show.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
55 comments
Supersoldier317
Supersoldier317

Gears 3 was the best game i ever played(me personally) but just thinking about what GoW on Xbox One and what it will be running on already has me excited for what it could potentially be

Sn00pyBrown
Sn00pyBrown

make it fun like gears 1 or at least gears 2.

grenadelaunchr
grenadelaunchr

Another great X1 exclusive, its alright PS4 STILL HAS KNACK. lolololol

Collateral96
Collateral96

@grenadelaunchr Great way to bring up an old game from the launch of the console. That was bound to be trash since the day it was announced before hand. It looked like a terrible game and it was.

charlesswann
charlesswann

Back to the past over in Microsoft land.  And this article says nothing.  Look at more indie games gamespot.  I am sick of your AAA hype building.  Don't be a big corporate donkey.

itsjesterhead
itsjesterhead

I have lost faith in Halo and Gears after their newest releases in the series which both were huge disappointments and both switch to new studios doing the development. This made me give up on xbox because they don't have other great exclusives to get an xbox one and their two greatest were major let downs.

prats93
prats93

Sorry but Gears died after Cliff left.

divinejester
divinejester

It will probably still be good, but imo Halo took a drop in quality when it switched from Bungie to 343, so I expect the same here, maybe on a larger scale since Gears was never as good as the first two Halos.

itsjesterhead
itsjesterhead

@dani_i89 How was Halo 4 a huge increase. It was a huge decrease in quality, player count, and competitive tournaments as well as originality and other factors. You clearly haven't played the other Halos if you think Halo 4 was really good.

portals_cake
portals_cake

@dani_i89  I think what he means is that Halo was a decrease because it seemed like a reboot that made no sense, there were no connections of story between halo 1 thru 3. i will say visuals looked nice but this game and halo 1 are like the same game but with different story, and by that i mean its the same because halo 4 coudlve been halo 1 instead and yet wouldnt make a big impact on the franchises story line. and itsJesterhead wasnt being immature, he was clearly setting a statement saying on what he thinks of it. you sir dani need to mature because you clearly cant see what the difference between maturity and making a statement is. good day:)

codju
codju

Luckily, 343 will return to Halo's roots in Halo 5. Skill rankings and no LOADOUTS! Yeah!

dani_i89
dani_i89

Haven't played the other Halo's? I've been a fan since the release of number 1. Number 4 is the best one after the first. It has better graphics, better story telling, better guns which sound awesome (best guns I've used in a shooter) and still feels like a solid Halo game. You're just one of those people that thinks it's cool to hate a franchise past it's 2nd or 3rd installment. Halo has really matured. Seems you have not.

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

@divinejester The overall quality of Halo was much better in 4, in terms of graphics and presentation. It's the vast changes to its multiplayer that brought out all the haters.

chippiez
chippiez

@rickphoenixxx @divinejester I don't do the competitive multiplayer, but the campaign and spartan ops were pure fücking magic for solo/friends-only players like myself.  I think that's the division on Halo 4.  If you're only into it for the competitive Arena multiplayer, it's the worst of the Halos.  If you're in it for singleplayer, it's one of if not the best, especially compared to Halo 3 (I'm looking at you, Flood level!)

Pewbert
Pewbert

That awkward moment when you have to attempt to justify capitalism in a good light ...

Evil_Sidekick
Evil_Sidekick

Let me guess what is in store for Gears of War....a open world game, that will be played for years to come.

Because that seems to be the new trend in gaming......

huerito323
huerito323

@Evil_Sidekick  yea, such a horrible trend. Nobody wants huge open worlds with lots of content, right?

hystavito
hystavito

@Evil_Sidekick  I guess it's just making way for the transition to "games as a service" they keep talking about.  Gaming or otherwise, the software business is moving in that direction, it's been shown how much money can be made when you go for small recurring fees/addons rather than traditional one at a time higher priced games.


Of course in AAA games they seem to like getting people pay a big upfront cost and then still have recurring smaller charges :).  That's probably how the earlier games will be, and then they will sort of slowly become more and more like MMOs.

TacticaI
TacticaI

@huerito323 @Evil_Sidekick  An open world Gears of War game does sound incredibly stupid, but I guess taking every opportunity to be sarcastic is what's more important here in the comments section. 

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

It will sell just based off of the fact its a new gears on a more powerful new console; whether it not its good is a whole nother story and considering what judgement turned out to be its arguable.

redikan
redikan

I am really digging the concept art. "We can do a lot more with our concept art" I heard him say at a meeting.

mark_unix
mark_unix

Now all they have to do is dump the unreal3 engine and create an engine that is capable of a openworld rendition of the game to appeal to a broader market. (because just a shooter, is just yet another shooter, most people have grown out of that genre and the new consoles are capable of doing so much more than that.)

Microsoft hasn't exactly been known to think outside of the box, and has and probably will stay stuck with playing it safe, never letting a franchise be more than what it was in the past...


You can go into so many direction, but i fear it'll just be another gears of war 2.5

isane-bishop
isane-bishop

@mark_unix  Well. since Phil is the head of Xbox right now. Microsoft may go outside the box now.

xcollector
xcollector

That article is too long to read. So I will just conclude that "Gears of War can do a lot more now that Microsoft owns it" means that Microsoft's idea of "a lot more" is releasing a new one every year.

DeadorRock
DeadorRock

I don't know... It may end up just like Halo when they handed it over to another studio.

TristanPR77
TristanPR77

Let see if they can do a lot more that 720p

mark_unix
mark_unix

@repetitious 720P in 2014 is sorta lame, for that $499 price most people paid without any games..

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

Believe it or not this picture does answer a lot of questions. Although the sky is blue and there is sunlight on a plain the main colors are brown and gray. Seems like its in the keeping of the Gears aesthetic. 

freedom01
freedom01 moderator

The concept art looks blurry

neowarrior793
neowarrior793

i like how today must be the day that MS gets there only 2 good IP's from last gen and reports about them. these are like the only 2 games that anyone ever bought a 360 at all for. now both IP's (now not under the control of there respected studies) need to make better games without guidance from the people who actually made thoes games. dont get me wrong im not hoping for them to fail but considering these are basically ms's ace's to get the people to buy there console, i don't hold much hope at all that they will pull through. i simply cannot see these games being good enough, i hope that people get what they want i truly do but i dont think it will happen. 

xxmavr1kxx
xxmavr1kxx

@neowarrior793  It is almost impossible to meet the standards of a franchise when the first 2 are hits. It iwll not measure up to a lot of peoples expectations, but that doesn't mean it won't be good. It is good that there are fresh eyes on the project as this article states, it looks like 3 didn't turn out so well because they were tired of the series. We might not get what people expect, but it does have a good chance of becoming a good game since it is kinda re-energized

skiggy34
skiggy34

@neowarrior793  Are there any positive gamers out there anymore??  Every time good news is mentioned on these sites, the comments are loaded with nothing but negativity.........Whats wrong with you people?  This game will be great!  The negativity can come later when there is actual game play we can see.  In my and many others opinion, Halo 4 was fantastic! They introduced a new enemy and different worlds,  Halo 4 was fantastic!  Lets wait and see what comes of this!  New studios can mean new ideas for the better. I dont want Gears to be like all the other ones!  I want a new experience!  Its like Uncharted 4, its going to be just like Uncharted 2 and 3.  Same concept over and over so I'm less excited for that game and more excited for this...

bosxlphoenix
bosxlphoenix

@neowarrior793 I feel like some of these great titles are past their golden days, and there isn't much else to replace them. Titanfall seemed to fall short, and Destiny is a long-term investment that leans towards Playstation.  Oh, how I miss the days when fans would fight over which series was better, instead of fans fighting about the future of the series.