While unannounced, a new Gears 6 is strongly believed to be in pre-production at the time of writing. Much like Gears 5, the next installment in the franchise will apparently also be a live service experience.
According to new job listings from earlier today, The Coalition is seeking a live design director for the Gears of War franchise.
The live design director is required to have past experience with service-driven games and will be tasked to “shape and lead [the] live PvP and PvE experiences on future titles” for “player-focused multiplayer experiences.”
That includes multiplayer gameplay, multiplayer game modes, progression system, in-game monetization, and game economy.
Gears 5 was designed to give players incentives to keep playing with the promise of free content drops as part of a three-month seasonal update. Its live service roadmap included free maps, new playable characters, and a ton of cosmetics to earn and unlock through either progression or microtransactions.
However, as far as players were concerned, the live content stream was anything but appealing. The first battle pass was heavily criticized for lacking any unique or exclusive cosmetics. Many of the character skins were just taken from the main single-player campaign for example, and no one cared enough about the other cosmetics such as banners and sprays.
There were also issues with pricing. The cosmetics were overly priced and rewards that could be unlocked through progression required a ton of grinding.
Rod Fergusson, head of The Coalition at the time, noted that Gears 5 featured an all-new game economy and hence, The Coalition will be learning from feedback to improve the live service model of the game with time.
And we’re learning and improving as we go. There’s no magic wand here. Even small changes take time to create content and design skills and Ultimates.
— Rod Fergusson (@RodFergusson) September 29, 2019
Fergusson has since then joined Blizzard Entertainment to oversee the Diablo franchise. Whatever lessons were learned from Gears 5 will still hopefully be used to not repeat the same mistakes with Gears 6.
Last year, The Coalition confirmed that it will be using Unreal Engine 5 for “multiple new projects” in its active pipelines and that the Gears of War franchise will “always be at the front of Unreal Engine development.”
Gears 6, whenever it releases, will hence see the storied franchise make its Unreal Engine 5 debut on Xbox Series consoles and PC.