The bloodlines in Gears are strong, but The Coalition isn't limiting their stories to select families.
Since The Coalition took the Gears of War franchise under its belt in 2015, the team has released Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Gears of War 4, Gears 5, co-developed two spinoff games, and has overseen two new books and comic series. It's been a busy five years for the team, and they've been met with great success. But between all the different mediums, that’s a lot of story in a relatively short time frame. How does developer The Coalition keep track of all that Gears lore? And how can they expand the series while shifting protagonists and still build meaningful stories?
In just the span of a few years, Gears has seen three different lead characters between J.D. Fenix, Kait Diaz, and upcoming Gears Tactics' Gabe Diaz. IGN sat down with two members of The Coalition, Gears Franchise Narrative Director Bonnie Jean Mah and Gears Tactics' Design Director Tyler Bielman, to find out how they decide who leads Gears’ stories, how they choose where to tell those stories, and what the future of the series could look like.
The Gears of War saga began with Marcus Fenix, a soldier we saw go from prisoner to military hero as he led a team to destroy the Locust and Lambent at the end of Epic Games' original trilogy. Then, The Coalition brought back the franchise and set it 25 years later with Marcus' son J.D. in the leading role.
"We could have picked [Gears 4] up as a direct sequel from Gears of War 3," Mah said, "but Rod [Fergusson] made the decision to jump us ahead by 25 years, which is a really interesting decision because then that forced a whole bunch of rethinking about our universe; who the enemies are, where the characters are, what the heck is going on. So, that already set a really good precedent for Gears of War "thinks" like that. We can think about jumping ahead in time, we're not beholden to just telling a very linear [story]."
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