Rod Fergusson, studio head at Gears developer The Coalition, will be leaving Microsoft to oversee the Diablo franchise at Blizzard.
Fergusson announced his departure from The Coalition through Twitter overnight. The industry veteran will be leaving for Blizzard starting next month. “Starting in March, I will join Blizzard to oversee the Diablo franchise”, he wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Back in October of last year, former Microsoft Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Vice President, Mike Ybarra, also announced that he would be leaving the company to join Blizzard.
According to Fergusson, working on the Gears franchise for over 15 years has been a joy, but it’s time for a new adventure. “I began working on Gears of War over 15 years ago and since then, it has been the joy of my life”, he wrote in a follow-up tweet. “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.”
Following his announcement, numerous key figures in the industry have congratulated Fergusson on his move, including Xbox head Phil Spencer, 343 Industries head Bonnie Ross, Respawn head Vince Zampella, Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski and many others.
Phil Spencer wrote: “Thank you [Rod Fergusson] for the passion and effort you’ve brought to Gears and Xbox and the work you’ve done to build the world class team at [The Coalition]. Best of luck on your next journey.”
Fergusson has been with Microsoft since 2014, where he first became studio manager at Black Tusk Studios, which was later renamed to The Coalition. The veteran has been working on the Gears franchise since its creation in 2006. Prior to his work on the Gears of War series, Fergusson has worked on high-profile franchises, including BioShock and Half-Life.
At Blizzard, Fergusson will be overseeing the Diablo franchise. The Diablo team is currently actively working on Diablo 4 and Diablo Immortal for smartphones.