A large part of Microsoft’s success with the Xbox 360 was due to Gears of War. The third-person shooter from Epic Games proved to be one of the console’s killer apps, spawning a number of sequels and a huge multi-media franchise.
However, the Xbox One isn’t as popular as the Xbox 360, at least not so far. While the Xbox 360 dominated the PlayStation 3 for the greater part of the seventh console generation, the Xbox One has been steamrolled by the PlayStation 4 in the marketplace. Xbox One sales have fluctuated over the console’s short lifespan, although figures for the last three months indicate that the system is once again on the decline.
Now, it seems that Microsoft is looking to the past to renew interest in the Xbox One, and rumors have been circulating about a remastered version of the original Gears of War. Initially, the rumors indicated that an entire Gears of War Collection was on the way, in the same spirit as Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Rod Fergusson, the franchise’s producer, shot down these rumors, but confirmed that there are other Gears of War-related projects in the works.
More recently, sources speaking to Polygon leaked the existence of the remastered Gears of War. These sources reported that the remastered game will include enhanced visuals and completely reworked cut-scenes.
In response to all of these rumors, Cliff Bleszinski, aka CliffyB, took to Twitter and said that it’d be a “no brainer” to see the original Gears of War on Xbox One. For those who don’t know, CliffyB is best known for his extensive work at Epic Games, where he was the creative director for the original Gears of War trilogy.
It'd be a no brainer to do a Gears remastered on Xbox One. If they do it just make sure they do it justice and knock it out of the park! :)— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) April 25, 2015
It makes sense for Microsoft to look at what worked with the Xbox 360 and try to use those games to win back some of the people that defected from the Xbox to the PlayStation in the jump to the eighth generation. Considering Gears of War and its sequels were some of the most popular Xbox 360 exclusives, the series is an obvious candidate for bolstering the Xbox One’s library.
Furthermore, Microsoft outright purchased the Gears of War IP from Epic Games, so remastering the previously-existing games in the series would certainly go a long way towards helping the company recoup that cash.
Another interesting piece of evidence hinting at a Gears of War remaster is that the franchise’s cinematic director left Epic Games to join Black Tusk Studios, the studio that Microsoft gave the Gears of War IP. It’s possible that his role is to not only help with the cut-scenes for a new game, but also to help rework the cut-scenes from the first title.
Microsoft stole away the cinematic director for Gears of War from Epic as well as the franchise’s producer. CliffyB is not working at Black Tusk Studios, but he also left Epic Games; after his departure from Epic, CliffyB started his own studio, Boss Key Productions, which is working on a new game called BlueStreak.
Meanwhile, Black Tusk Studios is currently working on a new Gears of War game, although the new title likely won’t see the light of day until 2016. If the rumors about a remastered version of the first Gears of War turn out to be true, the remake could be available as early as this holiday season. Fans will have to wait until E3 to find out if these rumors are true; with the original creative director’s stamp of approval, a Gears of War remake seems more and more likely to see the light of day.