You may not have realised it, but up until this morning there was a chance that the next instalment in the Gears of War franchise could appear on the PlayStation 4. Despite the series remaining exclusive to the Xbox 360 across all four of its previous instalments, the property was actually owned by independent outfit and Unreal Engine creator Epic Games throughout. That’s changed today, however, as Microsoft has purchased the rights to the brand.

The platform holder has revealed that its new Black Tusk team will begin developing a new Xbox One entry, with former director Rod Fergusson adopting a “key studio leadership role”. The specifics regarding the acquisition are perhaps better suited to our sister site Pure Xbox, so pop over there for more information. You can also read the Redmond-based manufacturer’s full statement through here.

While it’s hard to miss what you never had, we had secretly harboured some hope that Marcus Fenix and crew may fire onto Sony’s next generation system at some point. Still, with speculation suggesting that Epic Games had no plans to further the franchise, we suppose that this deal makes sense for Microsoft. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t pull the same stunt with Titanfall, which it doesn’t actually own either.

[via news.xbox.com]