Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, and Rob Auten will be taking over scriptwriting duties for Gears of War: Judgment, replacing Gears of War 3 scribe Karen Traviss.
Replacing Traviss may be a signal that the upcoming prequel may try to shift to a darker, more serious tone, more akin to the original Gears of War than its sequels. The series has been often been criticized for having less-than-stellar writing, a conception Epic Games is clearly trying to rectify with Judgment.
Traviss in particular has called attention to her own... lack of literary influences in her blog: "I'm a writer who doesn't read novels, and not just because of time, or fear of ideas contamination, but because I just don't like doing it."
Tom Bissell, on the other hand, is an award-winning novelist and occasional video game critic. In addition to working with Epic when writing Extra Lives, he wrote the Gears of War 3 art book, which came with the collector's edition of the game.
Rob Auten has worked as a film consultant for Twentieth Century Fox, where he helped produce Avatar and two games based on the Aliens franchise.
If you want to know more about about the pair and their vision for the next Gears of War, you should do your darnedest to get down to Comic-Con in San Diego next month. The writers will join Cliff Bleszinski and Fred Tatasciore, voice of Judgment protagonist Damon Baird, at a panel during the show on July 13th.