Gears 5‘s Rod Fergusson will leave The Coalition and Microsoft in March to work on the Diablo franchise at Activision Blizzard, it was today confirmed.
While Fergusson announced the news around 10.30 am AEDT, sources at The Coalition have told Stevivor that they were informed of the departure ahead of this, at approximately 10.00 am AEDT today. Xbox Game Studios head, Matt Booty, delivered the news to Coalition staff in person at an all-hands meeting.
“Starting in March, I will join Blizzard to oversee the Diablo franchise,” Fergusson announced on Twitter. “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.
“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.”
Fergusson started at Microsoft back in 1996, working on titles including Microsoft Train Simulator. He moved to Epic Games in 2005 and then to Irrational Games in 2013 before rejoining Microsoft to head up The Coalition and work on Gears of War 4 and Gears 5.
“Thank you [Rod] for the passion and effort you’ve brought to Gears and Xbox and the work you’ve done to build the world class team at [The Coalition] Best of luck on your next journey,” Xbox head Phil Spencer said on Twitter, reacting to the news.
Fergusson travelled to Australia to promote Gears of War 4 ahead of its release; Stevivor also travelled to Vancouver to discuss Gears 5 with him. You can read our pieces with Fergusson here.
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