When it comes to to the Xbox brand, there are two prominent franchises that immediately enter the minds of gamers: Halo and Gears of War. The pair of shooters have been synonymous with the platform for years, providing their respective fan bases with quality first and third-person shooter options. Given the popularity of the franchises, it was inevitable that spin-offs would begin to emerge – with Halo leading the charge on that front. Now players are anxiously awaiting the follow up to the ever-popular RTS spin-off Halo Wars, but the existence of this genre changeup left this editor wondering if Gears of War may follow suit.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity for a brief demo and Q&A session with 343 Industries studio head Dan Ayoub during X16 in Toronto, Canada, where I inquired as to whether or not the developer had thought about pushing for a ‘Gears of War Wars‘ type of experience. While nothing of much intent had been discussed, Ayoub did confirm that he’d brought up the possibility to The Coalition studio head (and Gears of War overseer) Rod Fergusson.
“You know what’s funny? Rod [Fergusson] and I have joked about that. When was the last time we talked about that? It was at E3. We were just clowning around and we were like “You know what would be fun?”. So, obviously, no plans. It’s just Rod and I f***ing around over drinks, but that could be a lot of fun. But, yeah, who knows. Anything is possible.”
It’s obvious that plans for such a real-time strategy venture for the universe that gave gamers Marcus Fenix is still a ways off, if it’ll ever arrive, but it’s interesting to hear that Ayoub and Fergusson have already had an informal discussion about it. Perhaps nothing will come of it, but there’s a chance that something may.
For now, the studio responsible for a lot of the development on Halo Wars 2, Creative Assembly, seems far too busy with the work it still has to do on its ongoing project and the inevitable batch of DLC that follow. As a result, taking on another RTS set within the world of Gears seems a little ambitious at this point in time, but, as Ayoub said, “anything is possible.”
Halo Wars 2 is set to arrive across both Xbox One and PC on February 21, 2017.