Gears of War Studio Head Leaving To Lead Diablo Franchise At Blizzard

Roadie running to a new studio.

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Rod Fergusson, head of Gears of War developer The Coalition, has announced he is leaving the studio to join Blizzard. Fergusson has been instrumental in the Gears of War franchise from its inception, having worked on the very first entry in the franchise and every follow-up since.

In a tweet, Fergusson confirmed he is joining Blizzard in March to oversee the Diablo franchise. He also thanked his former co-workers at The Coalition and Xbox. "Leaving is bittersweet as I love our Gears family, the fans, and everyone at The Coalition and Xbox," he said. "Thank you, it has been an honor and a privilege to work with you all."

Fergusson has had a rather storied career in video game development, in between working on Gears titles. In 2011 he left Epic Games and joined Irrational Games in 2012 as executive vice president of development. He is often credited with helping BioShock Infinite's development get back on track and reach the finish line. He also worked as a studio head at 2K and manager at Black Tusk, which became The Coalition.

The Coalition's latest entry in the series was Gears 5, which has received favorable reviews. The game began pushing the franchise in new directions both narratively and in terms of design. Most notably, it introduced semi-open world areas, as well as vehicle-based exploration. Gears of War 4 and Gears 5 also shifted the focus away from Marcus, Dom, and other franchise staple characters to a new generation of characters. These two games have laid a strong foundation for the future, should The Coalition and Xbox pursue it. The next game in the Gears of War universe is set to be Gears Tactics, which releases on April 28.

GameSpot recently featured Fergusson on an episode of Audio Logs, in which he broke down the journey of the franchise's most unlikely hero: Jack. You can watch that above.

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