Gears of War studio The Coalition has announced it is moving its future projects to Unreal Engine 5. The announcement comes following the release of Gears 5: Hivebusters, a rare mainline campaign expansion in the Gears of War universe. The Gears of War series has always used Unreal Engine (the series was originally developed by Unreal creators Epic Games after all), but with Unreal Engine 5, The Coalition feels it can bring things to the next level.
“As we look to future games, we’re excited to start shifting our resources to next-gen development using Unreal Engine 5,” the blog post announcing the engine migration states. “Gears of War has always been at the front of Unreal Engine development – as a breakout 720p title for Xbox 360 through last year’s 120FPS multiplayer update for Xbox Series X/S – and we’re excited to continue that tradition by developing on UE5 for multiple new projects in the coming years.”
The move to Unreal Engine 5 means major improvements for The Coalition’s future titles, but it also brings with it a lull in the new titles coming out of the studio. “Shifting to a new engine is a big undertaking, so we want to be clear that we will not be announcing any new projects or titles for some time,” the blog post states.
However, those who are still playing Gears 5 shouldn’t worry too much about being cut off, as the studio confirmed it still has new content coming. Operations 7 and 8 are on the way, each containing two drops including new characters, new maps, and special events. Operation 8 will be the final Operation, but there will still be stuff to do in-game, services will continue, and Tour of Duty will continue to refresh, according to a Reddit post from senior community manager TC Shauny. The Coalition also committed to store updates with new content and featured playlists through the end of the year.
2020 was a busy year for The Coalition. Not only was Gears Tactics launched in April with co-developer Splash Damage, but the studio also re-launched both Gears Tactics and Gears 5 on Xbox Series X/S with myriad performance enhancements. The studio’s busy year was capped off by the aforementioned Gears 5: Hivebusters expansion, which came out in December.
Rumors have been swirling about what the studio has been working on, ranging from Gears 6 and helping out on Halo Infinite development to a brand new IP and a Star Wars game. Unfortunately for those hoping for a Star Wars game from this studio, TC Shauny debunked those rumors in a separate Reddit post. “Just to clarify regarding the Star Wars thing: We are not working on any such title,” he said. “We have nothing else to announce at this time.”
The Coalition took over the Gears of War series beginning with Gears of War 4 following Microsoft’s 2014 acquisition of the IP from original developer Epic Games. The most recent mainline entry from The Coalition, Gears 5, came to Xbox One in September 2019 before receiving its Xbox Series X/S enhancements in November 2020.
[Source: The Coalition, Reddit (1), (2)]
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