Microsoft have managed to sign up another key member of Epic Games to Black Tusk Studios to help develop the next Gears of War game. This makes Greg M. Mitchell the second high profile staff member to leave the previous owners of the franchise to join the new developer.

Mitchell announced the move on Twitter, revealing that he was leaving Epic to work on Gears of War and Black Tusk Studio. He has had a role in every single Gears of War game and has acted as the cinematics director for the most recent releases.

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Black Tusk Studios began life in 2012 when Microsoft tasked the mostly ex-EA team to create a franchise that could rival Halo. While the developer was working on this project, Microsoft Game Studios acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games and set the now 100+ strong studio the job of continuing the series. Rod Ferguson, executive producer for Gears of War, was also convinced to leave Epic and join up with Black Tusk Studios to lead the new project.

Next to nothing has been revealed about the next instalment in the Gears of War franchise other than the fact that it will not be available on the Xbox 360. Instead, the development team are focusing on taking advantage of the new hardware and technology available in the Xbox One. Despite the lack of information about the new title, it is likely that we will see some sort of reveal at this year’s E3 with analysts expecting the game to launch at some point in 2016.

However, Rod Ferguson has spoken about the aim to combine the established elements of the series that have brought it so much success with innovations and improvements to ensure that it doesn’t become stale. Speaking in 2014, Ferguson said:

“It’s the same thing with all sequels, They want something new but they don’t want something so new that it doesn’t feel like what they want. But if you put out something that’s very familiar and is the same as the game they just had, then it’s like ‘I’ve already had this. This isn’t new enough.’”

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