Cliff Bleszinski, the designer of the original Gears of War trilogy, has offered his help to The Coalition.
He did it for a good reason. Rod Fergusson, the former studio head of The Coalition (who were working on the Gears series… it’s still weird to call it just Gears and not Gears of War), has announced his departure to move to Blizzard, where he will be the „overseer” of Diablo. Bleszinski wrote the following on Twitter: „Even if I gave 3 pages of notes on the Gears 6 take, I’d wager the perception around the community would be lovely. There’s one thing they haven’t gotten to that I wanted SO BAD for Gears of War 4 that they never did. UGH.” (We don’t know what the idea could be.)
Gears of War was previously developed at Epic Games. (Yes, THAT Epic Games. The one that makes a ton of cash on Fortnite, not to mention the Epic Games Store.) Bleszinski worked here until 2012 when he departed. He later formed his studio, Boss Key Productions, to work on Lawbreakers (which he said it flopped for being too political…) for PlayStation 4 and PC. It wanted to compete against Overwatch, but it didn’t get far, resulting in the studio’s closure in 2018 after their other game, Radical Heights, a battle royale, also flopping. Then, he said he no longer wants to be involved in the gaming industry… but his successes at the Broadway changed his tone.
Matt Booty, the head of Xbox Game Studios, says the Gears series is more popular than ever: „I feel great about Gears 5. I will start with what’s most important, in that the quality and the craft of the game is world-class. I say that definitively without having to put any exceptions or caveats around that. We are particularly happy with the progress that they’ve made in terms of accessibility, diversity representation in the game, and some of the awards it got for things like audio. We are still seeing a tremendous amount of energy around the passionate and global fanbase. That group continues to grow. We have continued growth in merchandise, linear media… Universal still has the option for the movie out there. So we feel great about it. And in terms of the game’s performance, it has done very well within [Xbox] Game Pass,” he told in an interview with Gamesindustry.
How did they diversify the Gears IP? Here’s his answer: „It was a concerted effort to think about how we can broaden that universe. When you think about broadening a franchise, it is not just taking characters and stories in new directions, but it’s about what new gameplay mechanics can come about? What are new ways of engaging with the franchise? That shows up in some subtle ways, for example, the way the character Jack was used as a way for newer players to engage and start to learn about Gears. To things that are much more overt, when you’re talking about something like Gears Pop, which is on a completely different device and with a completely different gameplay style. It was a very focused and planned effort to go and broaden the franchise.”
We never thought ten years ago that Gears of War would be as such today.
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