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MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson

Microsoft Studios announces the acquisition of the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games, including "rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise" from the third-person shooter series. The game is being handed over to Black Tusk for development, and the announcement grants this is an "as-yet-unproven studio" but Microsoft's Phil Spencer says this is "a world-class team with deep experience and passion for the shooter space, and specifically the 'Gears of War' franchise." This experience extends to the hiring of Rod Fergusson, the Gears of War producer who went to Irrational as producer on BioShock Infinite last summer. Says Microsoft's Hanno Lemke: "We hope to be able to share more news about 'Gears of War' later this year."

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36. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 20:39 ViRGE
 
Shineyguy wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 12:12:
Topevoli wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 12:04:
Well that's a shame..

I don't think it is. I'd love to see Epic able to actually work on something other than Gears.
Agreed. This is a win-win all around. MS can get more Gears of War games without saddling Epic with the task, and Epic can go work on something else.

Gears was already an exclusive franchise, so tying down a top-tier multiplatform developer like Epic was a waste on both ends. Someone else could do it for less than Epic, and Epic's skills are better put to use elsewhere.
Creston wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 19:10:
Rigs wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 15:56:
Agent.X7 wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 14:55:
Gears - The series with a plot so forgettable that Bulletstorm actually surpassed it.

Bulletstorm was fucking awesome, btw. One of the very few games I've ever managed to actually finish all the way. Excellent story and interesting characters. Not a 'deep' story, but not everything has to be to be fun. Will always love that game...


=-Rigs-=

I actually quite enjoyed it, but not for the characters. Dear God...
Besides the damn characters, the lack of jumping and the weapon limits were a major drag. It encouraged very conservative gameplay, since you never knew when you'd need the best guns to take down a mini-boss or such.
 
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35. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 27, 2014, 19:10 Creston
 
Rigs wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 15:56:
Agent.X7 wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 14:55:
Gears - The series with a plot so forgettable that Bulletstorm actually surpassed it.

Bulletstorm was fucking awesome, btw. One of the very few games I've ever managed to actually finish all the way. Excellent story and interesting characters. Not a 'deep' story, but not everything has to be to be fun. Will always love that game...


=-Rigs-=

I actually quite enjoyed it, but not for the characters. Dear God...
 
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34. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 18:57 Beamer
 
Pachter is saying Epic probably got $100mm, tops. I'd believe that, or even half that, as the floor.

Think that talks began about Microsoft buying Epic, and ended up just being them buying the franchise? I'd say probably. And people seem to think that's a great deal for Epic, but at this point I'd say for both. Microsoft is much better without Epic at the moment, because aside from UE4 (which is less useful to Microsoft), what is Epic right now? They lost a lot of their devs, some starting mobile studios, and Rod leaving. Now Microsoft gets the brand and gets Rod without having to buy a studio.
 
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33. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 17:59 Ray Marden
 
A bit sad, really.

I realize the financial data means this can be a "win" for MS, but I wish they would do more with the system than double down on "big dudes behind walls" game.
Here is to hoping they do something original and amazing.
Having given up on the series; not sure where the story is now,
Ray
 
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32. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 17:01 Agent.X7
 
BitWraith wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 16:34:
Beamer wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 14:00:
BitWraith wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 13:47:
the main guy's mom being a giant insect.

I think you're misremembering something.

This is possible. After having played them, I could not tell you what they were about.

That's what I'm saying, lol. So generic end of the world sci-fi. Something about the main characters dad, something about bug guys or something, hilariously Un-hilarious dialogue between the characters who were ridiculous parodies of human beings. The end.

I mean, I don't even like Halo, but I remember some of the plot.
 
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31. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 16:52 Blackhawk
 
This sounds like the same thing that happened with Bungie. MS gets the contract for a successful franchise (Halo, GoW) and then drives the developers to burn out pumping out sequels. The developers eventually decide that they want to be creative again, and end up having to give up their IP to do it.  
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30. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 16:44 BitWraith
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 16:38:
BitWraith wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 16:34:
Beamer wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 14:00:
BitWraith wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 13:47:
the main guy's mom being a giant insect.

I think you're misremembering something.

This is possible. After having played them, I could not tell you what they were about.

Neither could I. It had potential, but the potential got lost to ambiguous storytelling and overly complicated... stuff.

But I'm pretty sure his mother was a human long dead.

I did think they did a good job with characters, though. The four characters you were surrounded by were well fleshed out. Possibly for mostly being stereotypes, but still, well fleshed out. But I think a game like Far Cry 3 handled its plot better - it didn't spend significant time feeding you plot, so it didn't make the plot very deep. That made it more rewarding, because there was nothing either glossed over too quickly or that you had to think about despite also having to kill 50 things at the same time.

I mean, GoW has an entire series of books dedicated to fleshing out its backstory. That's a sign of a pretty solid world created, but the games took on too much of that world. I remember playing GoW 1 and having no clue who the hell the end enemy was, the entire time through. Was it a human? Why was a human with the enemy? What the hell was going on? You shouldn't be confused about who the primary antagonist is unless there's mystery, and I don't think that's what they were going for.
GoW 2 I completely forget, I think.
GoW 3 did a better job explaining things. I think Rod Fergusson is in part to thank there.

Seems like I remember him calling that locust-queen-woman mom at the end? The one flying around on a bumble bee?

Man, you got that right on GoW2 though. I cannot for the life of me remember any plot details - I only remember the stuff about Dom.
 
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29. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 16:40 nin
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 16:37:
The only thing good about GoW was the commercial with Mazzy Star.

I missed that one. I remember the cover of Tears For Fears "Mad World" by Michael Andrews. Of was that Halo I'm thinking of?

 
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28. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 16:38 Beamer
 
BitWraith wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 16:34:
Beamer wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 14:00:
BitWraith wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 13:47:
the main guy's mom being a giant insect.

I think you're misremembering something.

This is possible. After having played them, I could not tell you what they were about.

Neither could I. It had potential, but the potential got lost to ambiguous storytelling and overly complicated... stuff.

But I'm pretty sure his mother was a human long dead.

I did think they did a good job with characters, though. The four characters you were surrounded by were well fleshed out. Possibly for mostly being stereotypes, but still, well fleshed out. But I think a game like Far Cry 3 handled its plot better - it didn't spend significant time feeding you plot, so it didn't make the plot very deep. That made it more rewarding, because there was nothing either glossed over too quickly or that you had to think about despite also having to kill 50 things at the same time.

I mean, GoW has an entire series of books dedicated to fleshing out its backstory. That's a sign of a pretty solid world created, but the games took on too much of that world. I remember playing GoW 1 and having no clue who the hell the end enemy was, the entire time through. Was it a human? Why was a human with the enemy? What the hell was going on? You shouldn't be confused about who the primary antagonist is unless there's mystery, and I don't think that's what they were going for.
GoW 2 I completely forget, I think.
GoW 3 did a better job explaining things. I think Rod Fergusson is in part to thank there.
 
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27. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 16:37 Cutter
 
The only thing good about GoW was the commercial with Mazzy Star.
 
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26. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 16:34 BitWraith
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 14:00:
BitWraith wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 13:47:
the main guy's mom being a giant insect.

I think you're misremembering something.

This is possible. After having played them, I could not tell you what they were about.
 
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25. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 27, 2014, 16:04 Beamer
 
Rigs wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 15:56:
Agent.X7 wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 14:55:
Gears - The series with a plot so forgettable that Bulletstorm actually surpassed it.

Bulletstorm was fucking awesome, btw. One of the very few games I've ever managed to actually finish all the way. Excellent story and interesting characters. Not a 'deep' story, but not everything has to be to be fun. Will always love that game...


=-Rigs-=

A great example of how shit marketing can torpedo something. I mean, not everyone would like it, but it sold worse than Homefront. Homefront!
 
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24. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 15:56 Beelzebud
 
Mad Max RW wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 15:25:
Are any of the original Epic devs still there anyway? Who cares what they do.

IMO they haven't done anything special since they stopped their working arrangement with Digital Extremes. Most of the classic maps from the Unreal games were done by DE.
 
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23. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 27, 2014, 15:56 Rigs
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 14:55:
Gears - The series with a plot so forgettable that Bulletstorm actually surpassed it.

Bulletstorm was fucking awesome, btw. One of the very few games I've ever managed to actually finish all the way. Excellent story and interesting characters. Not a 'deep' story, but not everything has to be to be fun. Will always love that game...


=-Rigs-=
 
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'I know what you think you are, what you want us to believe! But I don't buy it! For three years now you've been pulling everyone's strings, getting us to do all the work, and you haven't done a damn thing except stand there and look cryptic.'
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22. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 15:25 Mad Max RW
 
Are any of the original Epic devs still there anyway? Who cares what they do.  
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21. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 15:10 MattyC
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 12:10:
People still not tired of this franchise? Guess if CoD can do it so can Gears.

I didn't buy any of the most recent titles, but the old ones actually had decent co-op. That alone made them worth the price for me. It is quite rare for anyone to do co-op, much less do it well anymore.
 
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20. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 14:55 Agent.X7
 
Gears - The series with a plot so forgettable that Bulletstorm actually surpassed it.

Fortnite still in the works, BTW.
 
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19. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 14:07 Yosemite Sam
 
Hmm, seems like Epic was done with GoW and wanted to move on to something else. MS wanted another GoW because MS figures that will force PPL to buy the XBO. So MS buys the IP and gets another dev to make an XBO exclusive GoW. This is what happens when bean counters make decisions about games instead of the PPL who make the games. Wonder what Epic has in mind and if they will still shill for MS.  
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18. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 14:07 SpectralMeat
 
Beelzebud wrote on Jan 27, 2014, 13:57:
Dude-Bro.
 
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17. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 14:01 Creston
 
and the announcement grants this is an "as-yet-unproven studio" but Microsoft's Phil Spencer says this is "to be expected of us, as we tend to make pretty shit games anyway."  
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