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Hold tight Gears of War fans. Microsoft sauntered over to developer Epic's gaming stoop sale and picked up the entire Gears of War series and all future games even hiring on series producer and BioShock: Infinite alumni Rob Fergusson.

Development will now be headed up by Microsoft’s Black Tusk Studios (who currently works on secret, hush-hush, unannounced projects for Microsoft) with the help of Fergusson to continue the series. What does that mean for fans? More Gears of War games are headed your way and probably faster too.

Phil Spencer, Microsoft Studios vice president, told Polygon that it isn't ready to talk about the next game yet, but fans should expect announcements later this year. While deals like that don't happen overnight Spencer revealed that this deal had been in the works since last fall.

We finished the last Gears talking about the next iteration of the franchise, one that Epic and I were going to talk about just as a natural course of the publishing and studio relationship," Spencer said. "They didn't have a firm plan for what they wanted to do with Gears, which obviously opened the door to conversation. They wanted to make sure the franchise landed somewhere we could develop it well, so we started having discussions about how we could continue the franchise."

The more probable scenario is that Epic Games was ready to move on after wrapping up the series and Microsoft knowing that Gears of War was a top seller and one of the pillars of the Xbox 360 wants to undoubtedly bring it to its new consoles as well.

Epic Games, for it's part, seems comfortable limiting the amount of games it produces and focusing on the polishing of the Unreal Engine. Unlike the old days where developers built a new engine for each game, Epic's Unreal now powers many games and most of the top selling games each year.

Black tusk studios is Microsoft’s sneaky Canadian lair of mysteriousness that hasn't directly produced anything announced yet. Only releasing the polished E3 trailer below for a game that seems to be based on... bullets? There is really no telling. Stay tuned for more details on Epic, Black Tusk and the future of the Gears of War.

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[Via Polygon]