Of all the Xbox 360 games set to be released in 2011, it's safe to say that none of them are more highly anticipated than Gears of War 3. In fact, the Gears franchise is arguably the most important property on the 360, so it seems only natural to ask what happens after after the third game launches. Will that be the end of Gears of War? Not according to Rod Fergusson, executive producer at Epic Games.
Fergusson recently remarked that there are a "ton of stories" to tell in the Gears universe, which has got to be great news to the legion of fans out there, though it does beg another question: if the series is going to continue after the third game, does that mean players can expect an unsatisfying, cliffhanger ending to Gears 3?
Again, Fergusson comes through with the answer fans want to hear. Gears of War 3 will wrap up the Marcus Fenix story, and leave gamers satisfied.
"We're not going to reveal everything because we want some mystique left in our universe, but this is the Marcus Fenix story and people should feel satisfied after playing through that."
"We're not blowing up the world so Sera and the Gears universe will live on, but for us we didn't want to betray our customers and community by having a cliff-hanger ending where you're like 'argh I just got duped, now I've gotta wait until the next game.'"
Epic Games has been extremely forthcoming recently about wanting the Gears of War franchise on every platform possible. Could whatever game follows Gears of War 3 make its way to the PlayStation 3? That certainly seems to be a possibility, and it would make a lot of sense. By wrapping up the Marcus Fenix saga, and keeping it exclusive to the Xbox 360, Epic can start fresh in the Gears universe, and expand that universe to include as many gaming platforms as technology will allow.
At the same time, Epic has been busy talking up their new Unreal Engine tech and their take on the next generation of gaming. Unreal Engine 3 has been a huge success (and source of income) for the company -- one they would no doubt like to continue. With tough competition coming in the form of DICE's Frostbite 2 engine, Crytek's CryEngine 3, and id's id Tech 5, Epic is going to have to work to maintain its lead in licensing engine technology. What better title could there be to inaugurate Epic's next game engine than a new Gears of War?
But until that happens, gamers have one last, glorious go-round with the current version of the engine to look forward to in Epic's most anticipated game ever. Those lucky enough to make it into the Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta will get to start playing in just a few weeks, while the rest of us will have to keep waiting until September.
What do you think about the future of the Gears of War series? Will whatever follows Gears of War 3 be a multiplatform title? Will it make it out on current hardware, or wait for the next generation?
Gears of War 3 releases September 20, 2011, exclusively for the Xbox 360.
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