According to a new report from A Game Informer, Epic Games (the studio responsible for the original Gears of War) actually did some work on Gears 4 before ultimately scrapping the idea and selling the franchise to Microsoft.
Epic worked on Gears of War 4 for around six months before deciding to leave the franchise behind for good.
Producer Rod Fergusson, served as a bridge of sorts, having worked on Gears of War 4 at Epic, and now leads the game at Microsoft studio The Coalition.
Back in the days of Unreal Engine 3, [Epic] had this belief that we’d only build technology that we would use.
So if Gears didn’t need it, it generally didn’t get put into the engine. That was from a perspective of, if we don’t use it, it’s going to decay.
If we don’t touch it, it will just rot on the vine and then we’d have bad code.
He went on to add that this wasn’t the case with Gears 4. Apparently, Epic’s initial Gears 4 engine was “very mobile- and PC-centric more than it was console-focused”.
And now, as we know, Microsoft got the Gears of War franchise in January 2013 for an undisclosed sum.
It’s not entirely clear what Epic’s Gears of War 4 would have offered players as opposed to The Coalition’s upcoming effort. We do know that it was Epic who came up with the idea for the fourth game to be set in the future, with none other than Marcus Fenix’s son in the lead role.
The new Swarm enemy type was also originally part of Epic’s plan, although The Coalition changed things up considerably in that regard – the name was apparently the only thing that really stuck.
Gears of War 4 will launch in Autumn 2016, and a beta is coming our way in April.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.