What direction should the franchise take?
It'll be a while, I suspect, before we see or hear anything of Gears of War on Xbox One, but don't let that stop you throwing questions at studio manager Rod "GearsViking" Fergusson via the official forums. The first of Rod's podcasts - aka "Rodcasts" - will go live on 15th May, and he wants your input. Always thought Gears should be a Japanese idol game? Now's your chance to inflict that horrendous concept on somebody in a position of authority.
Black Tusk wasn't a Gears of War developer from the get-go - previously known as Microsoft Vancouver, its original mandate was simply to create the next big Xbox IP - but employees are apparently delighted with the opportunity. "People are ridiculously excited," the developer's Jack Felling wrote elsewhere on the forums. "Speaking for myself... it's basically my lifelong dream to work on Gears. So pumped. People at the studio love this franchise, a LOT."
If recent Black Tusk job listings are anything to go by, the new Gears will be structurally similar to its predecessors, despite the transition away from original license holder Epic Games. As reported by Dualshockers, there's talk of competitive multiplayer, co-op, an online service that extends beyond consoles (a reference to SmartGlass, in short) and "best in class" visuals. Pretty much what you'd expect, then, though the mention of possible cloud support is interesting.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has said that Black Tusk needs to "grow" the Gears of War franchise on Xbox One - a tacit admission, perhaps, that the previous Gears of War: Judgment wasn't much of a success. Chris Schilling mulled over the franchise's future in a recent feature. You may wish to do a little mulling of your own. Fergusson's thoughts on what Epic might have done differently with the original trilogy could be worth another look, too.