Cliff Bleszinski considered taking Gears 4 first-person pre-Microsoft acquisition
Microsoft bought the IP from Epic in 2014
Cliff Bleszinski has said he considered making a first-person Gears of War game prior to the IP’s acquisition by Microsoft.
Speaking on the XboxEra podcast, when asked about Epic‘s vision for the fourth game before the IP was sold, Bleszinski said: “Yeah, I can tell you I wanted to actually consider going to first-person with it.
“Can you imagine chainsawing a Locust in first-person?” he added. While Bleszinski didn’t elaborate on his ideas for the theoretical fourth game, it would have marked a huge departure for the series which has been third-person since its inception.
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Bleszinski also claimed that when Microsoft took over the IP, a focus on returning the game to it’s horror roots was key for the Xbox maker.
“That was Phil Spencer‘s main note when Microsoft acquired the IP. When talking to Rod Ferguson he said ‘let’s get back to the horror stuff.'”
Bleszinski served as lead designer on the first three games in the series during a 20-year spell at Epic that came to an end in 2012, a year after Gear of War 3’s release and two years before Microsoft acquired the IP.
The Gears of War IP was sold to Microsoft in 2014, which then formed first-party studio The Coalition to helm future entries in the series.
Despite the franchise’s success, Bleszinski recently told IGN he thought Epic had run out of ideas for where to take Gears next following the departure of several key staff.
“I honestly think once Lee Perry [Gameplay Designer, Gears of War 2], myself, and Rod Ferguson [Producer, Gears of War] left, I believe that Epic didn’t really know what to do with the franchise,” he said.
“They hadn’t shipped a game in a while. The [Unreal] engine was doing rather well, but they were growing and they probably needed the income even though they really didn’t know what to do with the future of the franchise.”
Since its acquisition of the franchise, Microsoft has released two mainline series entries in the form of 2016’s Gears of War 4 and 2019’s Gears 5, both of which were developed by The Coalition, as well as Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and the turn-based tactics spin-off Gears Tactics.
Last month, it was claimed that The Coalition has shifted its full attention to Gears 6 after two other games in development at the studio were cancelled.
And more recently, a job advert for a senior gameplay designer on the Gears of War franchise seemingly confirmed the studio is working on a new series entry.