Microsoft Buys 'Gears of War' Franchise, Hands Reins to Vancouver Game Studio

by Knowlton Thomas

A Vancouver-based game development studio has taken the reins of the popular "Gears of War" after Microsoft acquired the game franchise from Epic Games.

Microsoft bought the franchise, an Xbox exclusive with four games under its belt since 2006, and handed future development over to Black Tusk Studios. Financial terms have not been disclosed, but with 22 million units of the first-person shooter sold so far, the deal was likely sizeable, as Gears of War earned Epic more than a billion dollars over the past eight years.

Microsoft Studios launched Black Tusk in 2012 with the intention of building Triple A Games. The launch came just months after Radical Entertainment and Rockstar Games both shuttered their Vancouver digs.

"We are talking big budget, big team, long development timeline and very, very big projects that take a number of years to get through," studio manager Mike Crump said at the time. The studio is located in Vancouver's trendy and upscale Yaletown neighbourhood on the corner of Robson and Cambie. Black Tusk currently employees more than 100 people.

"Some of the world's biggest game franchises were created here and that is not going to change going forward," Crumpe said in 2012.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Vancouver Development Center (VDC) is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The centre is home to some of the best and brightest software developers from around the world. Since opening its doors in September 2007, the VDC has quickly become an intricate part of Microsoft’s global strategy for distributed software development. VDC employees play a key role in architecting systems,... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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