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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

January 27, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Microsoft acquires “Gear of War” franchise from Epic Games

Microsoft Studios said today that it’s acquired the rights to the “Gears of War” franchise — including all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise — from Epic Games.

Rod Fergusson, former Director of Production at Epic Games on the “Gears of War” franchise, will join Microsoft, while Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver, B.C., will take over developing the franchise, according to an official Xbox blog post. Fergusson will “play a key studio leadership role at Black Tusk on the development of the franchise going forward,” the blog post says.

The “Gears of War” franchise has grossed over a $1 billion worldwide, according to Microsoft.

Ars Technica offers some perspective on the acquisition, saying: “The move isn’t much of a shock, considering that Microsoft Studios published the first four Gears of War games as Xbox 360 exclusives (not counting a Windows version for the 2006 original). Still, the acquisition locks up another high-profile shooter exclusively in the Xbox One camp, alongside the Halo series and EA/Respawn’s heavily anticipated Titanfall.”

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: epic games, gears of war, xbox

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