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Gears of War Creator Says Epic Ran Out of Ideas Before Selling IP to Xbox

Gears of War lead designer and creator Cliff Bleszinski said Epic Games, the former developers of the series, didn’t know what to do with the franchise and ran out of ideas before selling the IP to Microsoft. According to Xbox, the Gears of War series had sold over 22 million units and grossed over $1 billion when it first acquired the franchise back in 2022.

Despite the franchise becoming a massive success and one of the leading exclusive properties for Xbox, Bleszinski said Epic Games had run out of ideas for where to take Gears of War next after several key staff members left the company. He added that the Unreal Engine was doing well, but Epic didn’t ship a game in a while and needed the income at the time.

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Speaking to IGN, Bleszinski spoke candidly about the troubles that the Gears of War franchise was going through creatively before Epic decided to sell it to Microsoft:

“I honestly think once Lee Perry [Gameplay Designer, Gears of War 2], myself, and Rod Ferguson [Producer, Gears of War] left, I believe that Epic didn’t really know what to do with the franchise. They hadn’t shipped a game in a while. The [Unreal] engine was doing rather well, but they were growing and they probably needed the income even though they really didn’t know what to do with the future of the franchise.”

Since Xbox took over the franchise, it released Gears of War 4 in 2022 and Gears 5 in 2022, both developed by The Coalition. The studio helped develop Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and the turn-based tactics spin-off series Gears Tactics.

Bleszinski parted ways with Epic in 2022 after working at the company for 20 years. He co-founded a new studio, Boss Key Productions, in 2022 that developed 2022’s LawBreakers and 2022’s Radical Heights, both of which ended up being commercial failures despite the former garnering a small cult following.

Source: IGN