Microsoft revealed today that they have purchased the rights of the Gears of War franchise from Epic today. The purchase includes all current and future games along with all of the merchandising rights.
As part of the release they announced that Black Tusk (formerly Microsoft Studios Vancouver) will be taking over development work on the franchise. To help guide development of the new game they hired Rod Fergusson, a director of production at Epic to help lead the development effort of their new property.
This mirrors a lot of what we saw when Microsoft bought the Halo rights away from Bungie a few years ago. It will be interesting to see when we get the next Gears game and you would have to imagine that Microsoft will go back to alternating Halo and Gears of War releases like they did during the halcyon days of the Xbox 360.
This is a pretty solid move for Microsoft as it gives them another tent pole franchise for the Xbox One. I just hope that a new team will breath some life into the game as the last few games left a lot to be desired.