The next Gears of War will run on Unreal Engine 5, but don’t expect it anytime soon

Gears 5
(Image credit: The Coalition/Microsoft)

The next Gears of War game will use Unreal Engine 5, and as a result, Gears studio The Coalition will “not be announcing any new projects or titles for some time.” That’s because shifting to a new engine is a big undertaking, in the studio’s words, which makes perfect sense.

Epic Games developed the first four Gears games, hence the series’ roots in the engine. The Coalition entered the fray with Gears of War 4, which was the first to use Unreal Engine 4; Gears of War 1-3 used Unreal Engine 3. Both Gears 5 and Gears Tactics also used UE4.

“As we look to future games, we’re excited to start shifting our resources to next-gen development using Unreal Engine 5,” The Coalition’s announcement reads. “Gears of War has always been at the front of Unreal Engine development–as a breakout 720p title for Xbox 360 through last year’s 120FPS multiplayer update for Xbox Series X|S–and we’re excited to continue that tradition by developing on UE5 for multiple new projects in the coming years.”

Few games have been publicly announced as UE5 projects at this stage: Fortnite will make the jump at some point, and Microsoft has confirmed that Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II will use the next iteration of the engine. UE5 is expected to release later this year, and the PS5 tech demo still looks great, especially if you love lifelike rocks.

As for Gears 5, work continues on Operations 7 and 8, both of which will add new maps, characters and special events to the multiplayer component. New content and “featured playlists” will keep rolling out until the end of 2021, after which development will end.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.