Attention, Gears fans. Before you read on, you may wish to face in the direction of Black Tusk Studios, fall to your knees and utter a few words of gratitude. According to Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, the company had planned to park the Gears of War franchise for "a decade or more" before Microsoft bought the IP and put Black Tusk in charge of it.
"We've gone through a long process of figuring out the games we're going to build at Epic worldwide in the future and we concluded that we weren't going to be building any more Gears of War," Sweeney told Polygon at the Game Developers Conference last week. "As much as we love the game, we're heading in a new direction."
"The core Gears values are really tied to being big event-based, single-player console games with awesome cover mechanics and other things that really didn't translate into the future approach we were taking with online games, and competitive and cooperative multiplayer," he explained. "Because we weren't planning on building any more Gears games we were just going to let that sit on the shelf for a decade or more, in case it had any future value to us."
Microsoft, thankfully, had other ideas. "It was one of those rare moments when both Epic and Microsoft were able to make a business that was obviously best for the community," continued Sweeney. "Much better to have Microsoft building Gears games than for it to be sitting on the shelf unused by Epic.
"Selling an IP like that is a rare thing. Most companies look at it as their crown jewels but at Epic we had a practical view of it: we weren't going to build it and we realized the world wanted more Gears of War."
I certainly do - how about you? Here are six things I want in particular from Black Tusk's new Gears of War.