Microsoft now owns another major franchise tied to its Xbox game consoles: Gears of War. That includes "rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise," and it looks like a new game (likely for Xbox One) is already in production at Black Tusk Studios in Canada (Microsoft actually teased a project from Black Tusk back at E3 2013 during the company's press briefing). The franchise's former director of production, Rod Fergusson, will take on oversight.

The Gears of War franchise was exclusive to the Xbox 360 (and later on PC as well), and Unreal Engine developer Epic Games used the third-person shooter series to show off its engine's graphical chops. Beyond being a graphical showcase, however, Gears of War developed a loyal following among online console gamers -- last year's Gears of War: Judgment was the first entry in the franchise co-developed by Epic and Bulletstorm dev People Can Fly, and it was expected to be the final entry in the series.

Beyond a new entry in the massively popular shooter franchise, we expect re-issues (perhaps prettied-up re-issues) will happen at some point (a la Tomb Raider's "Definitive" Edition). At the very least, Gears fans can rest assured that more tales of meaty space marines taking down Locust are on the way care of Microsoft.

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Microsoft buys Gears of War franchise, new game in development