Gears of War studio head Rod Fergusson leaves to oversee Diablo

(Image credit: Mircosoft)

Rod Fergusson has announced on Twitter that he’s leaving The Coalition. Fergusson helped spawn the current iteration of The Coalition in 2014 when he was brought on to lead the continuation of the Gears of War franchise. 

Since then, he’s overseen two mainline Gears games, the 2016 soft reboot Gears of War 4 and last fall’s semi-open-world Gears 5. Fergusson revealed his future plans, saying he’s joining Blizzard to oversee the Diablo franchise. In a farewell tweet, he said his departure “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.” 

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Fergusson waxed nostalgic for his decade and a half of working on Gears, but added: “it’s time for a new adventure.” Microsoft has not yet announced who will step into Fergusson’s place as the new studio head. 

In addition to the mainline entries,  The Coalition also helped with the development of Gears Pop, a mobile spinoff made in the image of the popular vinyl toys from Funko. In April, the studio will launch Gears Tactics, a strategy title set in the Gears universe, for Xbox One and PC.

The Coalition was re-founded as a studio focused entirely on Gears in 2014 when Microsoft renamed and re-purposed the short-lived Black Tusk Studios, which was once known as Zipline Studios in 2011, before briefly becoming Microsoft Studios Vancouver. It’s gone through several makeovers and should survive this one too, though as one of the leading minds behind Gears departs for a new adventure, it’ll be interesting to see what the next Gears looks like in his absence.

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Mark Delaney is a prolific copywriter and journalist. Having contributed to publications like GamesRadar+ and Official Xbox Magazine, writing news, features, reviews, and guides, he has since turned his eye to other adventures in the industry. In 2019, Mark became OpenCritic's first in-house staff writer, and in 2021 he became the guides editor over at GameSpot.