Gears Of War series producer Rod Fergusson is joining Microsoft to oversee development of the next game in the Gears Of War series.
Fergusson, a widely respected games developer, was producer on the first three Gears Of War games. In August 2012 he quit Epic and joined the Boston-based Irrational Games, specifically to help finish the BioShock Infinite project.
It's official: I'm launching a new studio for 2K in the Bay Area with an exciting new project! Details soon!— Rod Fergusson (@GearsViking) September 26, 2013
By January, it was rumoured that Fergusson was working on a new Mafia 3 project, following the news that the series' developer, based in Prague, has restructured.
Now it appears Fergusson will be abandoning plans to live in San Francisco and will now move to Vancouver, having signed a new contract with Microsoft to work on the Gears of War series at Black Tusk.
Black Tusk Studios formed in late 2012 as a rebranded version of Microsoft Vancouver. At the time it was formed, studio manager Mike Crump said Black Tusk was "working on Microsoft's next big entertainment franchise". This was suggested to be a new IP, which has now been suspended.
Fergusson will "play a key studio leadership role at Black Tusk on the development of the Gears franchise going forward", according to a statement by Microsoft.
"I'm extremely excited to be joining Black Tusk Studios to oversee development on the Gears Of War franchise," Fergusson said.
"I've been privileged to work on a lot of great games with a lot of great teams, but Gears has had the most impact on me professionally and personally, so this really feels like a homecoming. I can't wait to share more with you all soon."
Black Tusk general manager Hanno Lemke added: "The news that Rod Fergusson is joining Black Tusk should be really exciting for fans of the franchise. Rod has played a leadership role at Epic on all of the Gears Of Wars games, he understands the franchise deeply but equally importantly he understands the fans of the franchise: what they love, where they want to see the franchise evolve.
"Once the news spreads about the opportunities at Black Tusk, I'm confident we'll see interest from a number of talented developers who share the same passion for the Gears franchise as the developers at Black Tusk."