Job security, I guess
After Microsoft acquired the Gears of War rights, Black Tusk studio was doomed. It was rebranded as The Coalition, a less discrete and more boring name, and will be to Gears of War what 343 is to Halo.
Black Tusk had been working on an original game, showed off in a concept trailer at E3 2013 (above), but that has been shelved for Gears. According to studio manager Mike Crump, speaking to Polygon, “We could continue working on the IP we were working on. Or we had the opportunity to take on Gears of War.”
The unnamed project had a staff of nearly 100 and had been in development for a year and a half, “We were hugely invested in what we were working on. You don’t spend a year and a half working on a game without getting attached to it,” Crump said.
“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.”
But for the senior staff of Black Tusk Crump gathered to discuss the future, it was a “no-brainer.” And that kind of job security does seem like a no-brainer for a handful of folks responsible for a staff of hundred. “We went around the table and everybody was in favor of going for Gears of War,” Crump said.
Mostly I’m upset that it is called Gears of War 4 and not just Gears 4.