The Coalition spent almost two years on a new IP before transitioning to Gears of War 4, which is now in development at the studio.
Last year, Microsoft announced it had acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games.
As part of this acquisition, first-party studio Black Tusk took over development control for the franchise, cancelling its new shooter IP that was in the works at the time.
Black Tusk is now known as The Coalition, a studio that will work exclusively on the Gears of War franchise. The original IP Black Tusk had in development was shown off at E3 2013, but effectively canned soon after.
Speaking to Polygon, studio manager Mike Crump said “we could continue working on the IP we were working on. Or we had the opportunity to take Gears of War.
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The mysterious IP with a 100 strong staff had been in development for a year and a half before Gears of War came calling.
“You don’t spend a year and a half working on a game without getting attached to it," Crump added.
"I'd be lying if I said there weren’t some people on the team who were disappointed when they found out the thing they’d been working on for so long was going to be shelved.”
"If you’ve been in the game industry long enough, you’re going to go through project cancellations. People go through this period of mourning a bit.”
“You have to give them that space and time to go through that, the sense of loss that people have around something they’re invested in."
In the end the decision for Black Tusk to tackle Gears of War was a “no-brainer” Crump said. The final decision was made after considering the future prospects and job security for those at the studio.
"We went around the table and everybody was in favor of going for Gears of War," Crump said.
Gears of War 4 is set for a late 2016 release and is coming exclusively to the Xbox One.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is coming to Xbox One on August 28, a remastered version of the original game with upgraded visuals and new content that was previously exclusive to the PC version.