Epic Games, founders of the Gears of War series, worked on Gears of War 4 for six months before the IP was sold to Microsoft. From there, it was picked up by The Coalition.
Rod Fergusson, former Epic Games director of production and current studio head at The Coalition, told GameInformer that pre-production work was done on Gears of War 4, and the creative process differed greatly from Gears of War 3.
“Back in the days of Unreal Engine 3, [Epic] had this belief that we’d only build technology that we would use,” said Fergusson. “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.”
Fergusson also admits that bits of Epic’s original story made it into the final release.
“When I got here [to The Coalition], we realized really fast that with all these new perspectives on the series it was going to take a long time to do preproduction on the game, so I said, ‘Why don’t we tap into some of the work I was doing at Epic when I was working on Gears 4 there?’ We went back in and looked at what the team had done after I left, and it was not really in a place that I was happy with, so we actually rewound it to a point before I left.”
Gears of War 4 will release exclusively on the Xbox One in the fall of 2016. There’s also an open beta starting on April 25th, along with early access of the beta for Gears of War: Ultimate Edition owners on April 18th.