Former Microsoft Gears of War, Gears of War 2 executive producer to helm Epic's Seattle studio

The former chief of WB Games Seattle, and executive producer at Microsoft Games Studios on the first two Gears of War games, is now overseeing Epic Games' new Seattle studio.

Laura Fryer, who's long history in gaming includes conceiving Microsoft's Zone.com and executive producer of Gears of War and Gears of War 2 while at Microsoft Games Studios, was named general manager of Epic's blossoming Seattle studio today. Most recently she was the general manager of WB Games Seattle where she oversaw work onGuardians of Middle Earth and Gotham City Impostors.

"She couldn't come to us, so we went to her -- between Laura and the great coffee, Seattle was clearly the logical location for our newest studio," Epic Games president Michael Capps told Polygon.

Fryer was appointed general manager of WB Games Seattle, which includes Monolith Productions, Snowblind Studios and Surreal Software, in 2009. Prior to that position, Fryer was one of the first members of Microsoft Game Studios, when she was hired in 1995. She was also the director of the Xbox Advanced Technology Group and a founding member of the original Xbox project.

"Laura Fryer is one of the brightest leaders of the game industry today, and we're thrilled to have her guide our new Seattle studio," Capps said. "Laura was a key member of the ‘Gears of War' team, and we've long hoped to work with her again."

Epic continues to recruit new talent for their Seattle office, according to their careers page, looking specifically for programmers and "senior-level talent" specializing in online game services and the infrastructure supporting them.

Fryer's departure from WB Games Seattle comes after a series of cuts, the latest of which hit this summer. At the time a representative told Gamespot that the cuts were due to "shifting business imperatives."

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