Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced that it acquired the intellectual property rights to Gears of War including the rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise from Epic Games, a video game publisher.

Microsoft

Gears of Wars has strong fans base

Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios, said the company purchased the Gears of War franchise because it has a very strong, passionate, and valued fans base on Xbox. According to him, more than 22 million units have been sold across the Gears of War titles worldwide worth over $1 billion (gross) in the United States.

“This franchise and these fans are part of the soul of Xbox. By acquiring this franchise, Microsoft Studios will continue to offer them more of their favorite games and entertainment experiences from the Gears of War universe,” said Spencer.

Epic Games and Microsoft remain close partners

Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games said, “We’re very proud of the franchise we built in close partnership with Microsoft over the past decade and are happy that this agreement enables Microsoft to forge ahead with the ‘Gears’ universe on their industry-leading platforms as Epic concentrates its efforts on new projects.”

Sweeney added that Epic Games will still support Xbox One, and it is licensing the Unreal Engine 4 technology to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in support of its future projects with the software giant.

Hanno Lemke, general manager of Microsoft Studios said, “We will collaborate closely with Epic to ensure the inclusion of the Unreal Engine technology into the “Gears of War” franchise; going forward remains consistent with the high quality fans have come to expect from the franchise.”

Black Tusk Studios to handle Gears of War development

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) said the development of the Gears of War franchise will be supervised by Black Tusk Studios located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Rod Ferguson, former director of production at Epic Games will join the software giant to lead the Black Tusk Studios.

Sweeney said Black Tusk has a world-class team with deep experience and passion for the shooter space particularly the Gears of War franchise. He said, “I am extremely confident that under the leadership of Hanno Lemke, Rod Fergusson and our other leaders in the studio, Black Tusk is well equipped to take on the future development of the “Gears of War” franchise.