Microsoft already has the rights to the Halo series, and now it's adding another blockbuster to its stable of franchises: Gears of War. The company announced today that it has acquired the rights for the series from developer Epic Games. While no new Gears of War games were announced, development for the series will be handled by Microsoft Studios' Vancouver-based subsidiary Black Tusk Studios. Former series producer Rod Fergusson will be joining Black Tusk to "play a key studio leadership role" on the franchise.

"We hope to be able to share more news about Gears of War later this year."

It appears to be a similar arrangement to when Microsoft acquired the rights for Halo from developer Bungie, and passed development responsibilities off to a newly formed studio called 343 Industries, which went on to launch Halo 4. The deal includes the rights to "all existing and future games, entertainment experiences, and merchandise" in the Gears of War universe. As for when we might see the results of this new partnership, Black Tusk general manager Hanno Lemke says that "We hope to be able to share more news about Gears of War later this year."