Microsoft just pulled off a huge deal, something that may give Xbox a huge edge over the PlayStation. Remember Microsoft saying that the spec difference between the two consoles is fairly marginal and that it will all boil down to games? Well, it now all makes sense!

Xbox Wire just announced that the rights to “Gears of War” now belong to Microsoft, which used to belong to Epic Games. The acquisition covers a lot of ground, including rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise. I bet the Microsoft execs are hearing kaching, kaching, and even more kaching!

Rights To "Gears of War" Now Belong To Microsoft

So what will happen to the game franchise now?

The task of developing the game now rests on the shoulders of Vancouver-based (Canada) Black Tusk Studios. Furthermore, Rod Fergusson, former director of production at Epic Games on the Gears of War franchise, will be joining the Microsoft family. He will take on a key role at the development studio, probably ensuring that the franchise that gamers have come to love will continue to satisfy its fans.

And what does Epic Games have to say about this?

“Epic Games has reached an agreement to sell the ‘Gears of War’ intellectual property rights to Microsoft.  We’re very proud of the franchise we built in close partnership with Microsoft over the past decade and are happy that this agreement enables Microsoft to forge ahead with the ‘Gears’ universe on their industry-leading platforms as Epic concentrates its efforts on new projects,” said Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney. “Epic remains totally dedicated to supporting Xbox One and is licensing the Unreal Engine 4 technology to Microsoft in support of their future projects.”

“Gears of War” is one of the most iconic Xbox franchises, although the most recent version of the game did not really perform as well as the previous ones.

What remains to be seen is how the change in development studio will affect the next installment of the franchise. This is a huge move, for sure, but what will matter most to gamers is news and details about the next game. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to talk about in that regard, although Microsoft says we’re sure to hear news about the new “Gears of War” later this year.

[Image via gamrmag]