Rod Fergusson, head of studio at The Coalition, is leaving the company next month to join Blizzard and oversee the Diablo franchise. Fergusson announced the news via Twitter last night in a heartfelt message addressing his team, the Gears community, and Xbox.
"Starting in March, I will join Blizzard to oversee the Diablo franchise," said Fergusson. "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."
He went on to say that his 15 years of making games in the Gears franchise have been the "joy of his life" but he's "onto a new adventure." He assured fans that April's Gears Tactics remains in good hands with all who remain at The Coalition.
As of now, Gears Tactics is the only news Gears game we know of, though there's no reason to think the mainline series is complete. Last fall's Gears 5 was another critical success for the studio, and by all accounts it remains a strong live-service game on Xbox, in part due to its inclusion in Xbox Game Pass, along with all other Xbox Game Studios projects.
The Coalition is actually the fourth iteration of a single studio. The company began as Zipline Studios and made a Facebook game, Relic Rescue, in 2011 - back when people played games on Facebook. They then became Microsoft Studios Vancouver after an acquisition and began work on Microsoft Flight. It wasn't long until the studio was closed, however. Microsoft then revived the studio and named it Black Tusk. After it acquired the Gears rights from Epic, Microsoft set Black Tusk on a mission to continue the series. The studio changed its name before its debut, Gears of War 4 in 2016.
Since then, The Coalition has also released Gears 5, with a remaster and two spinoffs to its credit as well: Gears of War Ultimate Edition, Gears Pop, and the upcoming Gears Tactics. Presumably, Fergusson will hit the ground running with Blizzard's upcoming Diablo 4. It's not yet known who will replace him at The Coalition.