While Gears of War has always been associated with the Xbox brand, the series was created by Epic Games as an exclusive. And while the series eventually found its way into Microsoft’s first-party wallet, lead designer Cliff Bleszinski shared his thoughts on the sale.
IGN sat down with Bleszinski on a new episode of Unfiltered and found out how the game director felt when it was announced that Epic Games would sell the franchise to Microsoft in 2014. This was two years after Bleszinski left Epic Games in 2012.
“I honestly think once Lee Perry [Gameplay Designer, Gears of War 2]I Rose Ferguson [Producer, Gears of War] On the left, I think Epic really didn’t know what to do with the franchise,” Bleszinski told IGN. He also believes the sale helped Epic fund its future projects and growth.
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They haven’t shipped a game in a while [Unreal] The engine was doing fairly well, but they were growing and probably needed the income even though they didn’t really know what to do with the future of the franchise. “
Bleszinski also says that after the sale, the only person he contacted about this was Phil Spencer of Xbox. “As much as I loved Tim and Mark [Rein, VP of Epic Games] And we’re still in touch, but when the IP was sold to Microsoft, the only phone call I got was from Phil Spencer. right? This is “Phil”. Phil, as they say, is a gentleman and a scientist. “
After Microsoft acquired the Gears of War franchise from Epic, game development was handed over to The Coalition, the Xbox Game Studios team in Canada. Under the alliance, the team developed Gears of War 4 and Gears 5.
Since then, Epic Games has charted a new path in the post-Gears of War years, primarily through the worldwide hit Fortnite. Epic is also continuing to develop its next generation game engine, Unreal Engine 5, which the alliance is using coincidentally for its next game.
Bleszinski shared his thoughts on the new games on Unfiltered as well, saying he doesn’t feel the new games have the same “heart” as the original trilogy.
“I’m going to say about the most recent ones that at the end of one of the most recent ones, they made the player choose between which character lives and who dies. And I’m like, ‘Hey buddy, really?’ “We committed to Dom’s death. We committed to killing Maria.” The alliance may have painted itself in a fictional “corner,” according to Blezinski.
To learn more about Bleszinski and his new book “Control Freak: My Epic Adventure Making Video Games,” check out IGN Unfiltered.