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Platform 360, Win Publisher Microsoft Game Studios Developer Epic Games Release Date 11/07/2006

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Meet the people improving video games one line at a time

Every line of dialog the player chooses to speak, every character the player romances, every character the player doesn't romance, every encounter they have, every encounter they don't have — these details are carefully noted so the game can respond to the player's actions accordingly. Players of the Mass Effect series will often refer to their avatar Commander Shepard as "My Shepard," a testament to the care the developers put into making players feel invested in their character. But it takes more than care to pull together an elaborate story that draws players into the game and keeps them there. Video games are often made by teams of writers, designers, programmers, artists and producers, but there's an important role that is often over-looked, forgotten and, in some studios,...


Sony's sales lead is great news for new Xbox One customers... and EA

Microsoft has announced that the Xbox One will be given a price drop from £429.99 to £399.99 in the U.K. starting on Feb. 28, with a free copy of Titanfall added in March. The Xbox One will continue to cost $499.99 in North America, but customers will get a free copy of Titanfall as a download code in specially marked bundles starting on March 11. This is a good deal for anyone who had the foresight to hold off on buying the system, and it will definitely cause systems to move off the shelves, but these aren’t the actions of a company that’s winning a console war. It’s hard to create an apples-to-apples comparison on console sales without also taking into account supply by region, but in raw numbers the $400 PlayStation 4 has outsold the Xbox One worldwide to date. Sony has...


The mystery of Black Tusk's 'next big entertainment franchise'

Microsoft's Vancouver-based studio Black Tusk was recently thrown into the spotlight when it was announced that it would be the new custodian to the Gears of Wars franchise. And while it is likely that the studio will make a new Gears of War game, questions remain about the "next big entertainment franchise" that Black Tusk teased back in 2012. Microsoft has declined to comment on whether that IP is still alive or whether the studio is working on something original. But if the announcements over the past 14 months are anything to go by, then there might be more to Black Tusk than just Gears of War. The studio was formerly known as Microsoft Studios Vancouver before it underwent a name change in November 2012. Prior to its name change, it was working on the now-canceled free-to-play PC...


Friends List: Who benefits from Microsoft's acquisition of Gears of War from Epic Games?

Today on Friends List, Editor-at-Large Chris Plante asks Opinions Editor Ben Kuchera: who benefits from Microsoft's acquisition of the Gears of War series? The episode will begin at 2 p.m. ET (or thereabouts!) and will be available via YouTube following the recording. While you wait you can watch the previous episode: Can you trademark Candy? Enjoy Friends List anywhere, anytime: Bookmark the Friends List video page. Subscribe to the audio-only podcast: Friends List on iTunes. Download our theme song, "Hangout" by Tolecover.


Halo 4 laid the blueprint for the next generation of Gears of War

This move not only guarantees that no Gears title will ever been seen on a competing console, it also gives Microsoft complete control over the creation of future games, possible film deals, and merchandising. Microsoft has already set up Black Tusk studio to handle the creation of the next Gears of War game, complete with series veteran Rod Fergusson helping to oversee production. These moves are familiar to anyone who followed Microsoft’s efforts to turn the Halo series into an internally-controlled property, and that’s great news for fans who want to see Gears given the same push as Halo. How Halo 4 laid a blueprint for Gears Halo 4 was the end result of Microsoft’s shift from Bungie-developed games to Halo titles created in the publisher’s own 343 Industries. The title...


Why the former Gears of War, BioShock Infinite producer is returning to Gears (update)

But this time it's a return to the Gears of War franchise on which he spent nearly eight years working. This morning, Microsoft announced that it has acquired all of the rights to the Gears of War franchise and that it is bringing on Fergusson to help oversee the next game at the Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver. Following an interview with Microsoft's Phil Spencer, we caught up with Fergusson for a short email interview. He declined to talk about what this surprise move would mean to the newly minted 2K studio, but did answer a few of our questions. Fergusson's departure from Epic came the month after massive Chinese internet company Tencent purchased 40 percent of Epic capital for $330 million. He moved on to Irrational Games in August of 2012 where he served as the executive vice...


Gears of War, Shoot Many Robots free for Xbox Live Gold in Dec.

Epic Games' original Gears of War and Demiurge Studios' Shoot Many Robots will be available free to Xbox Live Gold subscribers next month, Microsoft's Major Nelson announced today. Third-person shooter Gears of War (regularly $19.99) was released in November 2006 on Xbox 360. Shoot Many Robots (reg. $9.99), an action-platformer, launched in the spring of 2012 on Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and Windows PC, and made its way to Android this past March. Xbox Live Gold members will be able to download both games for free in December as part of Microsoft's Games with Gold program. Gears of War will be available Dec. 1-15, while Shoot Many Robots will be available Dec. 16-31. Games with Gold was originally supposed to end this year, but Microsoft announced in October that it would...


Here's what you need to know for Friday, Sept. 27

EA cancels 2014 college football game, reconsidering future plans Electronic Arts announced yesterday will not release a college football video game in 2014, and the company is "evaluating [its] plan for the future of the franchise." The announcement follows a months-long legal struggle between EA, the NCAA and the Collegiate Licensing Company and a number of former student-athletes who filed lawsuits against them. 38 Studios' liquidation auction set for Nov. 14-15 The liquidation auction for the remaining assets belonging to 38 Studios and Big Huge Games will begin on Nov. 14. Included in the assets are the Kingdoms of Amalur IP — which means the Project Copernicus MMO could fine a new home. Sequel and merchandise rights for Amalur are also on the table. Ryse's PvP scrapped in...


Game writers explain how character diversity prevents boredom and repetition

Video game developers should aim to be as inclusive as possible when designing characters for their games because this allows them to explore fresh perspectives and stories, according to a panel of developers who spoke at a PAX panel in Seattle today. During the panel, titled "Everything we know is sexist. Now what?", writers, community managers and narrative designers whose portfolios include games like Guild Wars 2, Murdered: Soul Suspect and Gears of War discussed the importance of character diversity and inclusiveness in the creative process. Speaking to a roomful of PAX attendees, the developers explained that when game-makers mindlessly use tropes and only feature straight, white male characters, they risk creating boring experiences for players. "When people think about the...


GDC Europe adds design talks on Assassin's Creed 3, storytelling, next-gen consoles

The 2013 European Game Developers Conference has added a new round of talks to its panel lineup, including design talks on storytelling and Assassin's Creed 3 as well as discussions of the next console generation, according to a post on the conference website. Ubisoft Montreal's Steven Masters will discuss how the studio worked on Assassin's Creed 3 for three years in the Design Track's keynote, "Designing Assassin's Creed 3." The company hosted a similar panel at GDC 2013, "Three Years of Collaboration on Assassin's Creed 3," but its GDC Europe panel will delve deeper into how the company built the title's core gameplay. Epic Games level designer James Brown will explore whether or not a game's story can co-exist with a player's "organic" experience, or the story they build as they...

Gears of War Releases
North America
  • Xbox 360
    • Released 11/07/2006
    • Publisher Microsoft Game Studios
    • Developer Epic Games
  • Windows
    • Released 11/06/2007
    • Publisher Microsoft Game Studios
    • Developer People Can Fly
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