The Coalition Studio Head Rod Fergusson is Leaving to Join the Diablo Team at Blizzard
Beginning next month, Fergusson will be the new overseer of the Diablo franchise at Blizzard.
Having worked on every entry in the history of the Gears of War franchise, The Coalition’s studio head Rod Fergusson today announced that he is leaving the developer to begin a new venture elsewhere.
Fergusson made the surprising announcement over on Twitter this afternoon where he revealed that his time with The Coalition has now come to an end. Fergusson joined the Vancouver-based studio in 2014 when it was still known as Black Tusk Studios alongside the announcement that Microsoft had acquired the Gears of War IP. Having previously worked on the series at Epic Games, Fergusson was instilled as the studio’s new leader and began on what would become Gears of War 4. Since that time, Fergusson also served as director of Gears 5 and also announced Gears Tactics, which will release later this year.
“I began working on Gears of War over 15 years ago and since then, it has been the joy of my life. But now it’s time for a new adventure,” Fergusson said on Twitter. “I leave Gears in the great hands of The Coalition and can’t wait for everyone to play Gears Tactics on April 28.”
I began working on Gears of War over 15 years ago and since then, it has been the joy of my life. But now it’s time for a new adventure. I leave Gears in the great hands of The Coalition and can’t wait for everyone to play Gears Tactics on April 28. pic.twitter.com/Az5w0B631i
— Rod Fergusson (@GearsViking) February 5, 2020
As for what’s next for Fergusson, we already know where his next move will be. In a follow-up tweet, Fergusson revealed that he’ll be joining Blizzard Entertainment starting in March and will be serving as the head of the Diablo series. This move comes only a few months after Diablo 4 was revealed during BlizzCon 2019.
Starting in March, I will join Blizzard to oversee the Diablo franchise. 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. pic.twitter.com/0FuO3RFYSQ
— Rod Fergusson (@GearsViking) February 5, 2020Advertisement
Fergusson is the second major lead at a studio to announce that they’ll soon be embarking on a new adventure. Just yesterday, it was revealed by Take-Two Interactive that Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser would be departing the company after taking extended time off in 2019. Where Houser might end up next hasn’t been revealed as of this writing.
In my own opinion, Fergusson is a major loss to The Coalition. While there are likely many at the studio who are well-familiar with the Gears of War series, perhaps no one else knows more about the franchise than Fergusson himself. The thought of a future Gears of War title that doesn’t have his fingerprints on it in some way is a bit odd, but The Coalition is a talented studio that will surely continue to create quality games in the series moving forward.
Conversely, this is a pretty major acquisition for Blizzard. In a time where the developer has come under fire for a string of reasons (most recently being the quality of Warcraft 3: Reforged), the presence of Fergusson on the Diablo team will surely have an impact moving forward. If you’ve been down on Blizzard in recent years like many have, let’s hope that Fergusson can help to turn things around.