Gears of War 4 in Pre-Production at Epic for Six Months Before Sale to Microsoft
The Coalition’s Rod Fergusson talks about Epic’s shift in development philosophy.
Before Epic Games eventually sold the Gears of War IP to Microsoft, it was working on a fourth Gears of War game. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite pan out. Producer Rod Fergusson, who now heads up The Coalition working on Gears of War 4 for Microsoft, was at Epic during this time and saw the developer going down a different road for game development.
Speaking to Game Informer, Fergusson said, “Back in the days of Unreal Engine 3, [Epic] had this belief that we’d only build technology that we would use. So if Gears didn’t need it, it generally didn’t get put into the engine. That was from a perspective of, if we don’t use it, it’s going to decay. If we don’t touch it, it will just rot on the vine and then we’d have bad code.
“That’s not how it was with Gears 4. Epic’s initial Gears 4 engine was very mobile- and PC-centric more than it was console-focused. You can see their focus shift towards games like Fortnite and Paragon and stuff like that.”
Though the exact details on how different Epic’s version would have been are scant, the developer was interested in exploring a future story with Marcus Fenix’s son, similar to the current story for the game. And though the new enemy type – the Swarm – has the same name, The Coalition made it completely different for the current game. “We started talking about what the Swarm would be at Epic, but [The Coalition] completely changed it as we developed the game on our own. The name stuck, but none of the monsters stuck.”
Gears of War 4 is out in Fall for Xbox One with a multiplayer beta starting on April 18th.