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Microsoft has purchased the rights to Epic Games' Gears of War franchise, and they've turned the series over to a new studio, Black Tusk. More news about future Gears of War games will be announced later this year (E3, anyone?).
"Today we're excited to announce that Microsoft Studios has acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games, including rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise," Microsoft said in a statement. "In addition, we are excited to announce that Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver, BC will take over development of the Gears of War franchise and that Rod Fergusson, former director of production at Epic Games on the Gears of War franchise, will join Microsoft and play a key studio leadership role at Black Tusk on the development of the franchise going forward."
Rod Fergusson was originally with Epic Games during the first Gears of War trilogy. He left Epic in August 2012 to work on BioShock Infinite with Irrational. He then left Irrational in April 2013, and now he's back with the Gears of War IP.
Black Tusk formed from Microsoft Vancouver. When it was formed, studio manager Mike Crump at the time said, "We're not working on an existing franchise, we're looking to build the next Halo here, for example, which is really exciting," Crump said.
So much for building the next Halo. You're back to building an already popular property of the Xbox 360.
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