Microsoft’s ‘Halo’ effect: Hunting for the next game hit

In MicrosoftNextHitthe Xbox universe, there’s “Halo” —and there’s everything else. The venerable franchise has sold more than 60 million copies to date and shows no signs of slowing down.

While the Master Chief and his crew cast a big shadow, Microsoft has actually put together a strong catalog of other go-to franchises along the way, including “Gears of War” and “Fable”. In late October, it published its latest effort to build another franchise: “Sunset Overdrive”.

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Microsoft buys Gears of War series

Marcus gears-bought-by-msFenix may not be done with his battle against the Locust.

Microsoft has acquired the rights to the Gears of War series from creator and former franchise developer Epic Games, ensuring that the series — one of the tentpoles of the Xbox line — doesn’t wander onto another system.

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Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski calls it quits

There aren’t a lot of celebrity game developers. The profession, by and large, isn’t one that lends itself to the limelight. But Cliff Bleszinski has been a rare exception to that rule.

Camera-friendly, highly energetic and never at a loss for words, the design director for such titles as Gears of War and the Unreal franchise was a natural on talk shows like Jimmy Fallon. Yesterday, though, he shocked the industry by announcing plans to leave Epic Games, his video game home for the past 20 years.

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New ‘Gears of War’ game confirmed

Less than nine months after Gears of War 3 hit store shelves, the next installment of the series is set to make its debut.

Microsoft and Epic Games will formally reveal the next Gears of War on Monday, June 4th, during Microsoft’s annual E3 press conference. The big question is: What system is it for?

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App Review: Shadowgun

While Shadowgun has been accused of borrowing a bit too much from the Gears of War franchise, there’s enough in this app that differentiates itself from the console hit. The shooting elements that dominate the game certainly follow the same pattern — enter a room, then fight your way through it, using cover to protect yourself. But the inclusion of puzzles and pattern recognition games are nice breaks to the fighting. The controls handle well, which is a relief. And the graphics are incredibly well done. This is certainly one of the best looking iOS games to date.

It’s an expensive title, though, and one that gets repetitive after a while — but that won’t be enough to turn away core fans of the shooter genre.

Read more at Common Sense Media

Gears of War 3 sells 3 million copies in one week

Gamers descended on retailers like locusts to grab their copies of Gears of War 3.

Microsoft says the latest installment in the series sold 3 million copies in its first week, making it the biggest game of the year (so far).

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Scenes From E3

Games themselves are only part of the story at E3 , the video game industry’s yearly gala . To get a real sense of the carnival-like atmosphere at the show, you need to look beyond the carefully coordinated demos and presentations.

The E3 convention is often called a circus – but there are a lot more than three rings. With everything from celebrity cameos to multimillion-dollar booths to scantily dressed models, E3 is a constantly moving, nearly organic being. Capturing all of the show’s eccentricities is impossible, but here are a few snapshots of the video game industry’s annual party/trade show to give you a taste.

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Gears of War 3 to hit shelves Sept. 20

September is shaping up to be a bullet-ridden month for the video game industry — with three of the year’s most anticipated shooter games scheduled to land at retail.

Microsoft announced Wednesday that Gears of War 3 will release on Sept. 20. That’s just one week after id Software’s long-in-the-works shooter Rage is expected to hit the streets and a little over two weeks after Sony will release Resistance 3.

Read more at Yahoo! Games