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Gears of War for Xbox One will innovate, assures Microsoft - Black Tusk has "awesome" concepts

It wasn't forced on Black Tusk Studios in place of a new IP, insists Ken Lobb

Gears of War for Xbox One won't be the same old warren of chest-high walls, shredding animations and fist bumps - according to Ken Lobb, creative director for Microsoft Studios, new developer Black Tusk aims to take the IP to some interesting places.

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Speaking to Edge, Lobb also insisted that Gears wasn't forced on Black Tusk in place of the mystery new IP revealed at last year's E3, styled "a concept piece" in retrospect by recently appointed Head of Xbox Phil Spencer.

"I actually have tons of respect for Chuck [Osieja, creative director] and all the guys up at Black Tusk," he said. "I think the reality is what we have is innovative Gears Of War. That's what I believe they're going to make.

"They're an internal studio, but the reality is it's cool to have [an IP] that can be a grand slam right out of the gate. The concepts they've been toying with are awesome. You take what they were thinking about and their expertise on Unreal Engine 4, because that's what they've been playing with since their founding, and really go with the IP.

"Again, this was a mutually agreed thing. It's not, "Here's this thing you must take." That's not the way Phil [Spencer] works; that's not the way we work."

Black Tusk employees have confessed to being "ridiculously excited" about the project. That's a far cry from the mood at franchise creator Epic Games, which once planned to let Gears of War "sit on the shelf for a decade or more" - thankfully, Microsoft now owns the rights to the IP.

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We spoke to Epic veteran Rod Fergusson a while back about what he might have done differently, were he to start the Gears of War trilogy from scratch. Those thoughts could be worth a revisit, given that Fergusson is now running the show at Black Tusk.

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