Microsoft now wholly owns Gears of War

Crimson Omen

Gears of War is a big franchise – one that’s managed to stay exclusive to Microsoft’s Xbox platforms for 8 years due to a close partnership with Epic Games.  Each game in the franchise was published by Microsoft, but the intellectual property still remained in the possession of Epic – meaning that Epic, after fulfilling their agreement with Microsoft, could have potentially brought the franchise to Sony’s platforms.  This has now changed as Microsoft is now the IP owner of the Gears of War franchise – a win for Microsoft who, since the release of the Kinect, has been struggling to boost their library of exclusive titles.

As an avid gamer, I would like to see Microsoft pursue more new franchises, but a Gears game on my Xbox one is mighty tempting.  On the other side, while I have yet to play Judgment, I felt that the third game was a solid conclusion to the franchise.  As much as I love playing Gears of War, I do feel like sometimes it’s okay to let a franchise end – especially when the end pretty well concludes the story.

Halo Gets New Comic Series & Director of Global Marketing

Dark Horse Comics will be releasing a new Halo comic miniseries.  Titled Halo: Initiation, the series will follow Spartan IV Sarah Palmer in her ODST days and will chronicle her service in becoming the first Spartan IV commander; her character was first introduced in Halo 4.  Halo: Initiation is being written by Brian Reed who previously worked on the comic book adaptation of Halo: Fall of Reach as well as the screenplay for Halo 4.

In other Halo news, Epic Games’ global marketing lead Kendall Boyd has parted with Epic in order to work at Microsoft Studios as the Director of Halo Global Marketing.  He has shipped over 35 games at Epic as well as EA Sports and THQ.

 

Sources:  Major Spoilers, Destructiod (1), (2)

Gears of War: Judgment Demo Coming in March (Update)

The upcoming Xbox 360-exclusive Gears of War prequel will be getting a demo of its new game mode dubbed “OverRun” this March.  Gamers who opt to pre-order Gears of War: Judgment at GameStop will be granted early access to the game mode demo beginning on March 15–the demo will become open to the public four days later on March 19.

OverRun mode sounds to be an evolution of the Horde and Beast combined with the traditional competitive multiplayer modes from previous entries in the franchise.  It consists of two timed rounds where players are attacking as the Locust Horde or defending against waves of the Horde as COGs.

Gears of War: Judgment releases in North America on March 19, 2013.

 

UPDATE:  From Major Nelson’s blog:  “As an added bonus, multiplayer experience points (XP) earned will carry over to the final game for players who purchase and play “Judgment” in the first week following its U.S. release.”