Microsoft’s Epic Deal?
Microsoft announced an acquisition of the “Gears of War” franchise from Epic Games studio for an undisclosed sum on the 27th of January, 2014. With what seems to be a bit of a recurring theme from Microsoft that kicked off in ernest with Bungie being spun off into 343 Industries for the Halo series. Locking exclusivity to Microsoft’s flagship console system seems like a very wise move in the near term. Among the big three of Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, the Redmond team has the fewest franchises that have remained solely on their platform.
With the first volleys being fired in the next generation console wars Microsoft was wise not to let ‘Gears’ slip away. Being the second most powerful exclusive brand on the Xbox, next to Halo, sends a clear message that studios can find comfort in. I’m a proponent of choice when it comes to game consumption alternatives but who am I to fault console manufacturers that shovel out the cash to drive system purchases? I readily admit that Titanfall coming to Xbox One factored into my purchase choice and delayed an inevitable gaming PC build-out.
In terms of sustainable strategies for any company (ahem, Nintendo) keeping those franchises relevant may be the biggest challenge when crossing generational groups of gaming. I miss playing Mario, but I don’t miss it enough to buy a Wii U. It will be interesting to see how younger groups perceive these moves and what that means to preserving revenue streams as the characters in these story-lines age past the decade marks.
Source: Xbox Wire