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What if... Apple bought Epic?

Future history: The fictional world of games is about to change. Big time.

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Activision's Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 and EA's FIFA 13 will join the likes of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, Dead Space 3 and Half-Life 3 on the system over the next three months - whilst major hits such as GTA V will be available for day one.

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All of the announced titles will be transferable to play on iPad, Apple has confirmed, and will be downloadable via the App Store. They will be available alongside Gears of War: Redemption - Epic's first multi-platform Gears title, which is due for release on Xbox Wave, PC and PS3 in November.

Gears Of War 4 announced as Apple exclusive
Tuesday 15-Jan-2013 22:49 GMT Cross-platform play on iPad 3 and Apple iFun confirmed

Epic Games has announced that Gears of War 4 is on the way and will be released this 'holiday'. And, wait for it: the game will be released exclusively on Apple platforms. Bang.

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The North Carolina firm enjoyed huge success with series stopgap GoW: Redemption last year, topping retail sales charts on PS3 and Xbox Wave, and even enjoying a UKIE/GfK-ChartTrack Christmas No.1. However, it was the iOs version of the title that really shone - taking 69 per cent of its record-breaking 28 million sales. Redemption also flew on iFun Now, shooting to the top of the service's weekly 'most-played' leaderboard.

Now, Epic has pledged the future of the Gears series to Apple, which fully purchased the studio and its tools back in November 2011.

"The mind-blowing success of Redemption has only strengthened our belief that people still want Gears - otherwise we'd have never signed up to a fourth full game," said Epic design chief Cliff Bleszisnki. "We know the Gears fans and we know what they want. Everything this time - from the story to the visuals to the incredible, crazy plans we have for multiplayer - is being created with the fans front and centre in our minds."

Epic VP Mark Rein added: "With Gears 4, we believe we can absolutely take the series to a level never seen before. With the hardware we have at our disposal and the amazing technology we can build on, it's hard to keep a lid on our excitement. Gears fans won't believe what's about to hit them."

Speaking to CVG, an Epic spokesperson confirmed that the deal was not related to the studio's licensing of its Unreal Engine. When we asked if UE would still be available on non-Apple platforms, a rep told us:

"We will continue to operate with our unreal Engine partners in the way they have become accustomed. We know ho much that relationship is valued by our peers, and we have no plans to drastically change that model any time soon."

Apple iFun Now surpasses 100m online sign-ups
Monday 28-Jan-2013 23:29 GMT Xbox Live and PSN left in the dust

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BREAKING: Apple is celebrating 100 million active subscribers to its iFun Now online entertainment service - nudging ahead of rival online entertainment platforms.

The US giant's service allows access to its App store, as well as a cost-free online friends system and community.

At last count, Sony's PlayStation Network and Microsoft's Xbox Live boasted around 80 million active worldwide users each.

More soon.

What do you think to our future history? Would Epic really ever sell to Apple? Where would that leave our Unreal Engine-fuelled favourite titles - and how could Apple leverage the purchase to claim a bigger chunk of the market? Let us know your wildest predications in the comments below...

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