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

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The fixer: Why Rod Fergusson returned to Gears of War

He could have been the one-man A-Team of game development, traveling from studio to studio to solve problems and launch games. But given the choice, Rod Fergusson turned his back on the never-ending march from alpha to retail and instead returned to his home, to Gears of War. It's like walking into a damp cave. The Figueroa's lobby is a throw-back to the Morocco of 1942's Casablanca. It's cool, dark and unusually empty. Later in the week the hotel's cavernous, tiled lobby will be filled with tipsy developers, journalists and marketers, overflow from the popular pool bar. But this afternoon no one is around, the games industry is busy, either at a major E3 press event, or heading to one. It's just Fergusson and I. Fergusson is all smiles when we meet, a bearded happy face. He seems...


Cliff Bleszinski's next game level is being made in Poland right now

The Kickstarter campaign for the indie shooter Superhot had a single backer who paid $2,000 for the privilege of designing a level in the game. And it's none other than Cliff Bleszinski, the designer of the Gears of War series. I donated at the Superhot tier whereas I get to co-design an arena stage. :) — Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) May 14, 2014 Bleszinski says that prior to launching his new game studio, Boss Key Productions, he had quite a bit of free time on his hands. "I finished Reddit every day," Bleszinski wrote Polygon in an email interview. "I'd get to the end and the little alien was looking back at me shrugging like 'What, I got nothing else, go outside and play kickball or some shit.'" That's when he found Superhot, the product of a team of...


Xbox Live's ex-sheriff returns as Gears of War's community manager

Stephen Toulouse, the former director of enforcement for Xbox Live — the person who wielded the banhammer, in other words — will return Microsoft as the director of community engagement with Gears of War. The news was announced on Major Nelson's most recent podcast. Toulouse (pictured) left Microsoft in 2012. Since then, he has held positions with Gaems, a maker of portable gaming entertainment cases, and with HBO. He rejoins Microsoft six months after it purchased the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games. As Microsoft's Xbox Live top cop, Toulouse was involved in many of the policies shaping the service today. His public stature made him the target of abuse, death threats and even "SWATting" by those sanctioned for their conduct. Toulouse later said he left Microsoft because the...


Airdrop Gaming's HipShotDot is apparently aimed at boys who like to cheat

Game accessory maker Airdrop Gaming's HipShotDot red dot sight attachment for first-person shooter games is a simple product that turns an age old gamer trick into a fully realized product to assist players. Too bad the company's views on gamers isn't modernized like its product. "Gamers ever since Doom would place a piece of tape in the center of the screen and mark it with a marker to make their own little reticle on the TV, so then they'll have these sights on their television all night," Airdrop Gaming co-founder Tim Murphy told Polygon at E3 2014, calling the HipShotDot a "new tool for the toolbox in the man cave." The attachment can be used to assist gamers in any first-shooter title, such as Call of Duty and Battlefield by highlighting the exact centre of the screen. For...


Troy Baker and Nolan North featuring in upcoming E3 Voices of Gaming panel

Voice actors Nolan North, Troy Baker and John DiMaggio will make an appearance during a panel discussion at this year's E3 on June 11. The Voices of Gaming Panel features the leading voice actors from the biggest games set to show during this year's conference. The event takes place at 1:45 p.m. PT at the Turtle Beach Theater in the L.A. Convention Center. Nolan North is best known for his roles as Desmond Miles in Assassin's Creed and Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series. Troy Baker most recently took on the role of Booker DeWitt in BioShock Infinite and Joel in The Last of Us. John DiMaggio is likely most famous for his role as Bender in Futurama and as Marcus Fenix in Gears of War.


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 announced...


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 featured...

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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