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.
According to Xbox, Gears of War had sold over 22 million units and grossed over $1 billion dollars when the deal was announced in 2014.
Despite the franchise’s success, Bleszinski told IGN he thinks 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.
The Coalition said in May 2021 that it was preparing to transition to next-gen development using Unreal Engine 5, but that it wasn’t planning to announce any new games in the near future.