Black Tusk Studios' focus on Gears of War is disappointing

Gears of War Screenshot - Microsoft has something seriously brewing in Black Tusk Studios

I first found out that Black Tusk Studios, Microsoft’s first party development house tasked with making the next big thing, was making Gears of War through a Twitter notification. A bunch of the people I follow on Twitter were now following Black Tusk, so Twitter decided that it wanted to inform me. I decided that I should follow them as well. Not only were they making an all new IP for the Xbox One, they were also tasked with creating the future of Microsoft’s second most important franchise.

Big things were coming from Black Tusk Studios. Microsoft knew this. That’s why they trust the Vancouver studio to work on both—

Oh. Wait. They’re only working on Gears of War?

Oh. Oh….

 Now, I’m not a professional analyst. I don’t have a crystal ball and can’t see the future. For all I know, Gears of War could have a bright future on the Xbox One. Black Tusk Studios could bring back that feeling gamers had when they first popped the disc into their 360 consoles, hopped online, and played death-matches together. Or it could be another Gears of War: Judgement: Enjoyable, but nothing to get super excited about.

There’s no denying that gamers are getting more and more burnt out on franchises getting sequels. We already get a new Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed every year. Some of the most exciting game announcements from E3 this past were new IPs. The Division was new, we got a new look at Watch Dogs, The Order 1866 is beyond enticing, and Titanfall can’t come soon enough. These are new games and new experiences releasing on new consoles. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? New technology, new boundaries, new worlds.

I’m not saying that I expected Black Tusk Studio’s tech demo to fully evolve into game. After all, that’s what they showed at E3: a tech demo of their engine. But when you create a studio with the task of making the next big thing  and end up giving them last generation’s big thing, it’s disappointing.  

It's also a bit disheartening. Thankfully, those new experience are coming from Respawn Entertainment, Insomniac Games, and Ubisoft. But I want more of them. If I wanted to play familiar franchises, I'd play through the original four Gears of Wars games on my Xbox 360. I don't wan to go back. I want to go forward. 

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Jake Valentine
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