Fergusson has been working on the Gears franchise for 15 years now, having been with the game since its start back on the Xbox 360. This was of course back when Cliff Bleszinski was heavily involved in the development of the game but left the franchise in 2013.
While the franchise isn’t quite what it was at its height when Epic Games developed the title, but many would agree that Gears 5 was a start back in the right direction.
Outside of the Gears of War umbrella, he also had a hand in the development of Bioshock: Infinite, following his departure from Epic Games. From there, he jumped back into the world of Gears after Microsoft purchased the IP and begun to develop it in-house at The Coalition.
Fergusson let his fans know on Twitter that he was making the jump from the Microsoft-owned studio to Blizzard where he’ll be put in charge of overseeing the Diablo franchise.
“Starting in March, I will join Blizzard to oversee the Diablo franchise,” he tweeted. “Leaving is bittersweet as I love our Gears family, the fans, and everyone at The Coalition and Xbox. Thank you, it has been an honor and a privilege to work with you all.”
Although he will be gone by the time it releases, Fergusson will also have his name attached to Gears: Tactics, the strategy game spin-off from the main series. This title will release on both Xbox One and PC.
After that, the next Gears of War installment will be the first to not have the 51-year-old’s fingerprints on it. With Gears 5 being considered a return to form for the franchise, it’ll be interesting to see what they are able to cook up going forward.
This comes on the heels of Mike ‘Qwik’ Ybarra leaving his position at Microsoft to become an executive vice president at Blizzard.
The Gears franchise and Diablo share a similar tone with their darkness, but outside of that, the similarities are minimal.
Diablo has a rabid fan base and many players feel the IP has been treated poorly in recent years, whether it’s the debacle that was the Diablo 3 launch or the announcement of Diablo: Immortal at BlizzCon.
Fans do have Diablo 4 to look forward to, so the future is looking a bit brighter for the franchise. It’s unclear what Fergusson’s role will be with this game since he comes on in March and the game is already in development.
The early reactions to D4 have been very positive, so fans will have to hope Fergusson will be able to keep the ball rolling. There’s still a lot we don’t know about Diablo 4, and we don’t even know how far in development the game is, so it’s possible he’ll be able to shape the game a lot into his own vision.
No release date has been given for the fourth installment in the franchise, and we’re also still waiting for a concrete release date for Immortal.