Microsoft executive Phil Spencer has spoken about the future of the Gears of War series, saying that the series would need to "expand what it was" in order to continue onto the Xbox One.
It has been the first active discussion of the future of the Gears of War series since Gears of War: Judgment launched earlier in the year, which did not accomplish the same critical and sales success of former games in the series.
"I thought we did a good job with Judgment," said Spencer, "but I don't think it hit the level of quality we saw in the previous games. I think review scores showed that. Sales showed that. I really think we'd need to take a step back with Epic and think about... I don't want to call it a reboot because I think it's an overused term but think about where that franchise goes and how to expand what it was."
"I'd love to have that conversation," he continued. "I do talk to the Epic guys often. They're also busy right now. I think they've said Gears is kind of on the back burner for them. So I think it would be a situation when the opportunity came up at the right time it'd be great to sit down with them."
Spencer, whose role at the Xbox maker is as vice-president for Microsoft Games Studios, insists that Epic is "the right team to work" on any future Gears of War games. "Trying to find another team to do that game I think is possible, but you'd want to make sure you did that very carefully along with them to make sure we had the right thing in place," he added.
Spencer has previously spoken about his fondness for the Crackdown series, and his desire to see it return at the right time. But how does he think a new Gears of War should look?
"I think that franchise would need to be... not reworked but you'd need to think about how to expand the universe and what people are doing," he mused. "Maybe take it more gritty, I don't know. You'd want to do something with it, because I think it did run its course on 360. And it was a great success on the 360, but it doesn't quite have a story arc of a thing like Halo or something, at least the way it's played out in the games."