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MS’ Big Game Announcement

January 27, 2014

imageDuring this weekend, Phil Spencer (aka Mr. Neck) had tweeted that there would be a big game announcement Monday morning. Everyone pretty much knew that it had something to do with MS’ newly formed studio, Black Tusk. Well, the crystal ball readers were right. Black Tusk will be working on…(drum roll)…the next-gen Gears of War. I know what you guys must be thinking because I, too, started rolling my eyes. It turns out that the Gears of War IP has been sold to MS. That is why Phil Spencer would not make any confirmation about future iterations of the IP on the Xbox One. Apparently, they had been negotiating a buyout this entire time.

I’m not sure how I really feel about this news due to the Gears: Judgment fiasco. One bit of silver lining is that Rod Fergusson is back to make sure things go well with MS’ wholly owned IP. Many of you know that Ken Levine sought out Rod to finish up Bioshock:Infinite, and that game turned out to be not too shabby. Another thing that helps MS in the console wars is that they’ve insured that Gears of War will never make its way onto the PS4. With the Halo franchise, Titanfall (at least the first game), Ryse, Forza franchise, Dead Rising 3, Quantum Break, Sunset Overdrive, Project Spark, Fable franchise (although it’s not remotely relevant to what it used be), and now the Gears of War franchise as Xbox One exclusives; MS has a stable of games that can match up against Sony’s horses. What are your feelings about this latest bit of news?

  1. January 27, 2014 10:51 am

    Great news!

    Then again…….

    I’m not too worried about the story, because the entire Gears cannon was chock full of plot holes. Story progression that made little sense. Remember the lambiant introduced in Gears 2? That came out of left field. I doubt they had THAT in mind when they first came up with Gears 1. All Cliffy had was an idea about a chainsaw. He wanted THAT in a game. Gears was built around a chainsaw.

    We played Gears till dawn because of the gameplay.

    The reason we stopped playing is because of the gameplay of Gears 2 and beyond. There was no major improvements. The main reason was technology. All Gears games were on 360.

    Now we have a new studio. Now we have the xbox one power.

    What will they do with that? Could they make a Gears game that has graphics that Rival what we’ve seen from The Division? I think they could.

    We’ll see. It could be really awesome.

    Regardless of how shitty the campaign story is likely to be…

    And they better figure out the mp game modes. They better have basic Gears 1 – 3 game modes, but also MUST offer something BIG that we haven’t seen or thought of yet.

    If I’m not blown away by the Demo, I’ll be sad for a little bit… Then on to the next game!

    I think MS better throw some Money on this. Cause we are all still waiting for the First Gears 2 gameplay.

    What do we know about Black Tusk? What have they done? Never heard of them… Gonna go look them up.

    • Blankman permalink*
      January 27, 2014 12:47 pm

      “Throw some money on this?” Jimmy, MS flat out bought the IP from Epic Games! They created a brand new studio (Black Tusk) from the ground up for this game. Just like 343 Industries will pretty much be responsible for cranking out Halo games, Black Tusk will do that for the Gears IP. If that’s not throwing money at it, I don’t know what would constitute that.

      In Cliffy B’s defense, he had more than the chainsaw on a rifle as the reason why Gears existed. Rather it centered around the idea of destroyed beauty, an idea that he got when he took a sabbatical to Italy after the divorce to his first wife. The mechanics were lifted from Killswitch and the chainsaw Lancer was lifted from the Warhammer dice game.

      As far as the actual development of the next Gears games goes, it will use the Unreal Engine 4. The next Gears will probably be the first game to showcase the new engine because FortNite is a game that should be scrapped imo. Regardless, Black Tusk is going to need Epic’s engine expertise throughout the game’s development cycle.

      Finally, a Gears game with no host advantage due to MS’ Azure cloud servers. Hmmm, I wonder what that would be like? If Black Tusk just rehashes the same formula, you can count me out despite my fanboyism. They need to bring something innovative and new to the table to get us excited again.

    • January 28, 2014 8:48 am

      I think it’ll be something similar to 343’s reimagining of the Haylow franchise, except possibly in an alternate Gears universe just for story sake.

  2. January 27, 2014 12:54 pm

    My very first reaction to the announcement that it has been sold to MS is “Don’t let Joe Staten get his hands on the story!” Kenai poked fun at the Gears story, but as far as I am concerned, the Gears campaigns and stories have been some of the best in gaming ever, in spite of any holes in logic or inconsistencies. I guess until recently, I didn’t believe that it was possible to match a good story with running and gunning, so goofy stupid fits first person/third person gaming just right.

    I never did play the campaign for GoW:J and I realize that maybe I should go back and do that. The only problems I had with that game was the money grab, the utter lack of maps, and the dearth of people playing it. As far as I am concerned, it offers the Gears 1.5 gameplay that we had all been wanting for so long, but with those problems it is way too little too late. Also, rED and Grymm are done with the game, and I can hardly have fun for very long without them. (Nor do I fault them in the least.)

    Right now, with Titanfall and The Division on the horizon, I really don’t have any gaming needs, even if I had a One.

    When would the game come out? Because once The Division is out, I won’t even take time to play the game for free – and I mean for years. Seriously, once the Division is out, unless Massive somehow blows it, everything else can just GTFO.

    In the immortal words of Kenny, “Meh” and “gtfo”.

    Blank, thanks for the posts of late! I am LOVIN’ it!

  3. Blankman permalink*
    January 27, 2014 2:55 pm

    You are welcome, Onii-San. I’m happy to contribute when I can. πŸ™‚ I agree with you on the Gears story. It was thoroughly enjoyable and had more depth than anyone could expect given that it was a “dude-bro”-type game. I, too, am surprised that Jim knocked the quality of the story-telling. Did we play the same games? Sheesh, there’s no pleasing this guy. Perhaps he’s still sore that his Michigan State Spartans got spanked by their cross-town rival, the Wolverines, this past weekend. I know that would put me in a bad mood. Ouch. πŸ˜‰

    As far as Titanfall and The Division goes, nothing will come close to those two games when it comes to occupying the majority of my console time. As long as Massive Entertainment doesn’t lay a big goose egg with their new IP, The Division will maintain our focus as a community for a long time. When we need a change of pace, we can switch on over to Titanfall or whatever piques our fancy. Right now, I am remaining calm about the latest news about the Gears IP. I’m not shouting through the rafters, high-fiving total strangers, & kissing babies just because Gears lives once again. If 343 Industries can revive the Halo franchise, perhaps Black Tusk can reinvigorate the Gears franchise. Remember, Judgment saw a drop of over five million copies compared to Gears 3. If that didn’t signal Epic Games running that IP into the ground, I don’t know what would. They devalued that franchise so much that even diehard fans like myself were begging for it to sit on the shelf for many years before rearing its head again. Only time will tell if another MS-owned studio can work its magic once again. At least they have a competent person in Rod Fergusson at the helm again. That’s talent that you can’t simply replace or substitute. Fergusson is to the Gears franchise as Frank O’Connor is to Halo. Even though the Gears of War IP doesn’t possess the same clout that it once had, MS’ move was not only a necessary one, but it was a solid strategic move. It served to stave off its competitor from grabbing it, and it insured that the Gears IP was synonymous to the MS consoles. In addition, it let the core audience understand that MS was serious about delivering games despite its focus on making the Xbox One the living room media hub. Nevertheless, we won’t be seeing the next-gen Gears until two to three years from now according to Black Tusk Studios.

    • January 27, 2014 5:13 pm

      Hey, kind of OT, I heard rumor that CliffyB is working again and now I can’t recall the name of the studio he got hired by (he didn’t make his own, that much I remember). Do you know where he is now? It wouldn’t happen to be Black Tusk, would it?

      And yes, after Halo 4, which was better than most of the Halos before it, 343 has earned some respect and anticipation for their next project. It would be awesome if Black Tusk could do for Gears what 343 did for Halo. No doubt.


      Cliffy posted about Gears in his DUDE HUGE blog

    • Blankman permalink*
      January 27, 2014 5:19 pm

      Cliffy’s been at it for months now. He even released a few pieces of concept art & tweeted Geoff Keighley for a game spot on the recent VGAs (redubbed the VGX). However, many in the industry felt that it was just to generate interest in his current project. We all know how Cliffy loves social media, and he’s a master at self-promotion. Also, it’s his own development studio, but the name eludes me. On his blog, he squashed any rumors of him heading back to the Gears franchise, so no dice on Black Tusk employment. He wants to make new worlds, bring forth new ideas, etc.

      P.S. You may have been confused that Cliffy was hooking up with Hideo Kojima for the next Metal Gear: The Phantom Pain, but that was just speculation. Kojima thinks that he sh!ts gold, & he’s a selfish mutha. All he does is rehash the same tired ass formula and prance around half-naked villains & protagonists. I wouldn’t be surprised if that otaku had closets full of soiled school girl panties from those scandalous vending machines. Perv!

    • January 27, 2014 5:23 pm

      ha ha! We were writing at the same time. Yep. Just saw his blog post.

    • January 28, 2014 10:48 am

      Hey, maybe I was too hard on the Gears story. I of course, really enjoyed the environment and atmosphere of campaign play. Very much enjoyed the characters, and going through their progression. However, the overall story line totally frustrated me. So many huge holes that don’t make sense.

      My point was not to bash, but to say that I really don’t care where they go with the story. New problem? New characters? Or do they “go back in time” like in Gears Judgement?

      Either way, I am looking forward to see what happens to this Franchise. Some day maybe, (maybe), we’ll be playing Gears together again.

  4. rEDChief55 permalink*
    January 27, 2014 9:57 pm

    I’m too lazy to give evidence and links right now but…

    -Titanfall’s beta is reported to start Feb 14th and last 5 days or so…WITH a preorder at Gamestop. -_____-

    – L4D3 has once again resurfaced with possible screenshots from the game….and it’s running on SOURCE 2.0

    I’ll update later with the links if I can find them again. But go ahead and take my word for it…trust me, I’m a doctor.

    • Blankman permalink*
      January 27, 2014 10:02 pm

      The Titanfall Beta has already been posted in another thread, rED. πŸ™‚ However, the supposed L4D3 running on Source 2.0 is utter bullsh!t. Eagle-eyed fans have already found that it has a 2011 time stamp on the PowerPoint slide. Remember, Valve doesn’t make games anymore. They just simply buy them.

    • rEDChief55 permalink*
      January 27, 2014 10:26 pm

      Why would a 2011 time stamp make it invalid? Three years is about 2 months in valve time, so relatively speaking it is very possible it is mid devlopment. I don’t see how it is out of the question at all

    • January 27, 2014 11:42 pm

      I love it that you still care about a sequel for that game. I wish you hadn’t sold L4D1 and 2 so quick, but then again, when would we get back to it now that you are rockin’ a One.

    • Blankman permalink*
      January 28, 2014 8:26 am

      I don’t treat anything from Valve with any seriousness any more. After their treatment of the consoles in the last generation, they can take anything that’s intended for us & shove it up Gabe Newell’s pie hole. And that dude looks like he eats a lot of pie.

    • rEDChief55 permalink*
      January 28, 2014 9:15 am

      I think a lot of it is that I didn’t have xbox live when L4D1 came out. I didn’t get the game until the following SUMMER. So I missed out on the first and probably most fun 6 to 8 months of the game. I didn’t get to have as many good nights in of that game as everyone else did. If L4D 3 does come out, don’t want to miss out on those initial months when everyone is new to the game, plus I have some lost time to make up for.

      If it were to come out on consoles I have no faith that it would be supported. I’d just have the mentality that there’d be no patches or DLC. What you get out of the box is what you get.

    • Blankman permalink*
      January 28, 2014 3:11 pm

      That is exactly why I won’t get suckered for a third time, rED. Valve wants to fill console gamers’ heads with false promises to make a couple of extra million dollars. Then it’s the same M.O.; leaving us high and dry. No thank you.

    • January 28, 2014 4:49 pm

      I agree 100% with Blank but I will say this only in Valve’s defense. They actually dropped a lot of bug/balance fix patches for the 360 versions, especially for L4D original. Content, no way, but bug fixes were often and appropriate.

    • January 28, 2014 9:04 am

    • rEDChief55 permalink*
      January 28, 2014 9:17 am

      Thank goodness. Glad this is the case.

  5. Blankman permalink*
    January 28, 2014 9:00 pm

    I know this has been done to death, but you can’t help but crack up when they have Hitler raging again. Bwahaha!

    • January 28, 2014 11:00 pm

      I have to stop half way through because this is so brilliantly written. They aren’t all as funny as this one! LMAO!

      Finished it. HILARIOUS! And exactly the balm that hurting One adopters need.

  6. January 29, 2014 3:43 pm

    PA has some solid insight on the potential of a new Gears game.

    Update: GameInformer Wish List

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