Gears of War ran its course on 360, says Microsoft

Gears of War ran its course on 360, but it could continue its life into the next generation if it got more expansive fiction and possibly a new studio, according to Microsoft's Phil Spencer.

18

The Gears of War series helped define Xbox 360. As Xbox One fast approaches, Microsoft Game Studios VP Phil Spencer suggested that they'd like to see more Gears games going into the next generation, but that he thinks they should reexamine the direction after Gears of War: Judgment's middling reception.

"I want to find a great Gears game, and I thought we did a good job with Judgment but I don't think it hit the level of quality we saw in the previous games," Spencer told IGN. "I think review scores showed that, sales showed that, and I really think that we need to take a step back with Epic and think about--I don't want to call it a reboot, because it's kind of an overused term--but think about where that franchise goes and how to expand what it was."

He said the series "did kind of run its course on 360," and that its story doesn't support as many games as the Halo series. That is, at least in its current incarnation. He suggested they would need to "expand the universe and what people are doing" to make it viable for future games. "Maybe take it more gritty, I don't know," he said.

One way to inject some new life into the franchise could be to find a new team. He says he'd "love to have that conversation" with Epic, but that Gears has been put on the backburner for the studio. Judgment was developed in part by People Can Fly. "Trying to find another team to do that game I think is possible, but you'd want to make sure you did that very carefully along with them to make sure we have the right thing in place," he said.

Editor-In-Chief
From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 1, 2013 8:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Gears of War ran its course on 360, says Microsoft.

    Gears of War ran its course on 360, but it could continue its life into the next generation if it got more expansive fiction and possibly a new studio, according to Microsoft's Phil Spencer.

    • reply
      November 1, 2013 8:38 AM

      HOW DARE HE

    • Ziz legacy 10 years legacy 20 years
      reply
      November 1, 2013 8:42 AM

      I never did finish the first Gears of War.

    • reply
      November 1, 2013 8:45 AM

      need archvile to interpret this in the most nefarious possible light so I can know if I am outraged

      • reply
        November 1, 2013 8:50 AM

        No, I'm done on this topic. But I am pissed at Steve Watts for using a misleading article title. The "did run its course on 360" line was a minuscule counterpoint to his giant diatribe of wanting another Gears game for Microsoft Studios to publish and rake in more money.

        • reply
          November 1, 2013 9:44 AM

          people like Gears. get over it.

          • reply
            November 1, 2013 11:14 AM

            I love it to pieces.

          • reply
            November 1, 2013 11:47 AM

            It's okay for people to like Gears. It's NOT okay for people to antagonize other games in order to put Gears on a pedestal.

            • reply
              November 1, 2013 11:49 AM

              antagonize to put on a pedestal? that doesn't make sense.

            • reply
              November 1, 2013 11:49 AM

              what do you mean by "antagonize"?

              • reply
                November 1, 2013 12:09 PM

                This is Cliff Bleszinski from 2008: "For me, the PC is kind of the secondary part of what we’re doing," Bleszinski told MTV Multiplayer. "[PC is] important for us, but right now making AAA games on consoles is where we're at. I think people would rather make a game that sells 4.5 million copies than a million and Gears [of War] is at 4.5 million right now on the 360."
                http://www.shacknews.com/article/51354/epic-designer-says-pc-gaming

                That's what started most of the "Gears vs. Unreal" commentary. I probably remember it too vividly to let it go. Every time I see a Gears article, I think back to Cliff Bleszinski in a rabbit suit, saying that PC gaming is in disarray... and not straying from that message in four years, until he left Epic.

                • reply
                  November 1, 2013 12:22 PM

                  I just don't even know what about that quote makes you angry. In 2008 that was a pretty accurate description of the market. There weren't a whole lot of AAA PC FPS pushing 4-5 million units at the time, while Epic had already accomplished that feat on consoles. Why wouldn't they run with that?

                  What Cliff says in public then and now is obviously going to be different because of his relative business interests. That's always true of PR.

                • reply
                  November 1, 2013 12:27 PM

                  well it wasn't as much "gears vs. unreal" as it was "we're prioritizing gears" and companies do that. they change priorities. it turns out it was the right move, financially. i don't think it was cliff and mark and tim just "deciding" they were going to do gears and making the entire company change priorities against their will. i doubt there was an internal revolt when artists and coders found out they'd be doing gears of war on 360 instead of unreal 3 / ut 2006 on PC.

                  • reply
                    November 1, 2013 12:45 PM

                    That's all internal to Epic as a studio, but the public-facing personae were CliffyB, Mark Rein, and Michael Capps, and the message that CliffyB and Michael Capps gave was essentially the same message repeated over the next few years. And on the UT3 side, there was still a motive of "circle the wagons around GameSpy ID", even as they were working on the Titan Pack patch. Maybe moving to Steamworks would have meant a software engineering effort that was far more expensive than staying with GameSpy ID, and that wasn't tenable under the "Gears Comes First" mandate, but there wasn't much PR messaging for UT3 beyond "We're making the Titan Pack, and that's what you're getting."

                    • reply
                      November 1, 2013 1:12 PM

                      UT3 did pretty poorly right out of the gates. Few games recover from that, it immediately changes how much you're willing to invest further. Switching from Gamespy to Steamworks isn't going to suddenly make the game a success. At some point they had to agree it didn't perform how they hoped and move on, not dump more money into it.

                      • reply
                        November 1, 2013 8:37 PM

                        Thing is, Epic was already doing that work, as Steam was the default online service for the Unreal Engine 3 development kit in the 2010 timeframe. If it really was too much work, maybe that's something that they save for a UT99 renaissance, if there's enough internal support for that.

                        • reply
                          November 1, 2013 9:16 PM

                          in 2010? like 3 years after UT3 came out? you don't say

    • reply
      November 1, 2013 8:51 AM

      Gears of War was literally the only reason I got a 360. To be fair I bought it like 5 years after the 360 came out.

      • reply
        November 1, 2013 11:18 AM

        GoW2 was the closest I have come to BF1942 level of involvement from my friends at the time. Such epic gaming that I hope will return with Titan

    • reply
      November 1, 2013 8:54 AM

      It's called going back to what made the franchise in the first place. A hardcore shooter with a heavy cqc focus that didn't forgive people for missing their shots and rewarded tactical teamplay and coordinated strategies. The SO/Retro in GoW3, the abomination that was GoW:J, deviated the core gameplay from what Gears was and veterans dispersed from the series in droves.

      Oh, and the particle effects and lighting in GoW were terrible. Some of the worst footage to edit imo. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the artists were using improperly calibrated displays and were exporting in the wrong colorspace. GoW3, on the other hand, is visually stunning in nearly every aspect.

      • reply
        November 1, 2013 8:55 AM

        'effects & lighting in GoW:J were terrible'*

    • reply
      November 1, 2013 9:00 AM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      November 1, 2013 9:22 AM

      I actually really enjoyed the first two games, especially in co-op. The first one came out around the time when Sony was still trying to convince people that the PS3 was a generation ahead of the 360 in terms of graphics (exaggerating... but not that far off). When that came out everybody kind of looked at it and thought... OK... not too worried about the power of the 360 right now. The second managed to look even better. Also, there was something very satisfying about the mechanics of the shooting and cover system in that game. Honestly, it seems like they could retire the characters, the universe and the story and use those mechanics for a shooter in a completely different universe. I can't say that I feel this way now, but I could see me wanting to play a Gears-like game in a year or two... I just have no desire to see those Gears characters or those Gears environments ever again. Rip out the mechanics and gameplay and toss it into a new game. I'd be ready to play it again... on my PS4... in a year or two.

      • reply
        November 1, 2013 9:24 AM

        Blasting a locust into chunks with the shotgun right after diving out of cover was so sick. Very visceral game. Loved it.

    • reply
      November 1, 2013 9:33 AM

      There's still plenty of room to tell stories in that universe, but the characters from the last four games are played out.

    • reply
      November 1, 2013 9:43 AM

      The only reason I didn't buy it was because there wasn't a CE. Hence, I'll wait to buy the $20 GOTY Edition when it's out.

    • reply
      November 1, 2013 4:16 PM

      loved GEARS 1 and I still log in xbx live to play it every now and then.
      Gears 2 was pretty good, but honestly by the time GEARS3 came out and it was pretty much
      more of the same, so I got it when it was $10 and played it for 5mins. seemed ok, but didn't
      hold my attention anymore.

      I knew there was a new GEARS after 3 but by then I just didnt care anymore, they really
      needed to give the franchise a break. Come up with something else, or reboot UNREAL.

    • reply
      November 1, 2013 4:39 PM

      GoW3 was the best imo. Judgement was so horrible. I paid full price for it too :(

    • reply
      November 1, 2013 8:27 PM

      I heard Judgment had no Horde mode and so I was no interested at all.

    • reply
      November 1, 2013 9:23 PM

      I wanted to play the third and asked the shack. Got some positive replies, but nothing like "OMG so awesome". GoW2 was pretty ok though, still prefer the first.

      • reply
        November 1, 2013 9:26 PM

        3rd is the best. You should get it on the cheap now :)

      • reply
        November 1, 2013 11:38 PM

        Well it has a rambling, meandering plot that consists primarily of Marcus Fenix working out his dad issues and the soldiers randomly stumbling into the plot at convenient moments while they alternate between hunting for fuel or vehicles. It's not easy to make that sloppy mess into an "OMG so awesome" experience. Huge roided dude whining about his dad != awesome.

    • reply
      November 1, 2013 9:47 PM

      But now where will I turn for my brown palette fix?

Hello, Meet Lola