Gears of War veteran Rod Fergusson has announced he will leave his role as studio head at The Coalition in March. Come that time, he'll be in charge of overseeing the Diablo series at Blizzard, presumably with a focus on Diablo 4.
Fergusson made the announcement today on Twitter (opens in new tab). It's a big move: Fergusson has worked on Gears of War since its inception in 2005, with the exception of a brief stint at Irrational Games during 2012 and 2013. When Microsoft announced it had purchased the Gears series from Epic Games in 2014, Fergusson returned to the series. Despite his short stint at Irrational, Fergusson has credits on every shipped Gears of War game.
I began working on Gears of War over 15 years ago and since then, it has been the joy of my life. But now it’s time for a new adventure. I leave Gears in the great hands of The Coalition and can’t wait for everyone to play Gears Tactics on April 28. pic.twitter.com/Az5w0B631iFebruary 5, 2020
Starting in March, I will join Blizzard to oversee the Diablo franchise. 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. pic.twitter.com/0FuO3RFYSQFebruary 5, 2020
The last Gears game with Fergusson's involvement will be Gears Tactics, which is set to release on April 28. Gears 5 released last year to decent acclaim, with our reviewer writing (opens in new tab) that it's "a polished and surprisingly varied campaign married to stalwart PvE and PvP modes which gently refine the classic Gears experience".
The news comes after a series of high profile departures from Blizzard last year. Founders Frank Pearce (opens in new tab) and Mike Morhaime (opens in new tab) both left the company during 2019, while former Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm directors Dustin Browder, Eric Dodds and Jason Chayes (opens in new tab) were also among the leavers.