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The Coalition logo

"If you want to go fast, go alone."
"If you want to go far, go together.
—Source unknown, The Coalition's slogan

Microsoft Vancouver known as The Coalition, formerly known as Black Tusk Studios. Is a subsidiary of Microsoft dedicated to developing video games based in Vancouver, Canada. The studio replaced Epic Games as the studio taking care of the Gears of War franchise after its acquisition by Microsoft in early 2014. Rod Fergusson, one of the fathers of the series, was The Coalition's Studio Head until his departure in early 2020.


Black Tusk Studios[]

Former Black Tusk Studios logo

The studio changed its name in November 2012 and was tasked with creating a major franchise for Microsoft to rival their popular Halo franchise.[1]

On January 27, 2014 in a statement by Microsoft it was announced that they had acquired the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games. Along with the news that Black Tusk Studios would be responsible for developing new games in the series.[2] As part of the Gears of War acquisition, Microsoft also hired Rod Fergusson, who was the executive producer and director of production on the first three Gears of War games at Epic, to oversee Gears of War development at Black Tusk.[3] It's unknown what happened to the new franchise that the studio was developing before Gears of War acquisition.

As of March 10, 2014 Black Tusk Studios is now operating the official Gears of War Twitter and Facebook accounts.[4] Black Tusk Studios is currently working on their forums similar to that of the Epic Games forums. It is still in development but will possibly be up in a few weeks but no specific date has been announced yet. [5]

On April 16, 2014 Black Tusk started the Gears of War BETA Forums.[6][7]

On October 23, 2014 it was announced that their take on the Gears of War setting would not be a reboot, but would aim to be a return to the series' roots.[8]

The Coalition logo animated

The Coalition[]

On June 3, 2015, it was announced by Studio Head Rod Fergusson that the name of the studio has been changed from Black Tusk to The Coalition. This was done to more associate the studio with the Gears of War franchise also due to it describing the team dynamics; diverse individuals working together for a common purpose.[9] On June 15, 2015, during the Xbox E3 2015 briefing, The Coalition announced Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, the remaster of the original Gears of War and Gears of War 4, a sequel to Gears of War 3. Ultimate Edition was released on August 25th, 2015, on the Xbox One and March 1st, 2016, on PC. In early 2016, The Coalition announced that Gears of War 4 is coming to PC and will be one of the first Microsoft Studios titles to be part of the Xbox Play Anywhere program. Gears of War 4 was released on October 11, 2016, with four days of early access for those who bought the Ultimate Edition of the game. The Coalition supported the game for over a year with multiple patches and content updates. Following the release of the Xbox One X, The Coalition provided Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3 and Gears of War 4 with 4K updates. On June 10, 2018, during the Xbox E3 2018 briefing, Rod Fergusson announced 3 new Gears of War titles - Gears Pop!, a mobile PvP game, Gears Tactics, a turn-based strategy game and Gears 5, a sequel to Gears of War 4. Gears 5 is scheduled to release on September 10th, 2019, with four days of early access for those who preordered or bought the game's Ultimate Edition or own the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. The game will be a part of the Xbox Game Pass and the Play Anywhere program.

The Coalition is also working with IDW Publishing and Titan Books on new comic series and novels that expand the Gears of War universe, such as Gears of War: The Rise of RAAM, Gears of War: Hivebusters and Gears of War: Ascendance.

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