Sci-fi author Karen Traviss, who was responsible for the Gears of War 3 story, has been replaced. Succeeding her, Tom Bissell and Rob Auten will take the reigns for Gears of War: Judgement.
Though it is one of the most successful franchises in modern gaming, Gears of War has often been criticized for the quality of its writing. Recently, Dead Space producer Chuck Beaver stated that the Gears narrative “contains atrocious, offensive violations of story basics. Yet it doesn’t seem to ruin it for many, many people. It’s literally the worst writing in games, but seems to have no ill effects.”
The issues have not gone unnoticed by series creator Cliff Bleszinski. In an interview with Eurogamer last September, he acknowledged that the series’ narrative had not maintained the path that was originally intended.
“The intent was to make [Gears of War] a lot more Band of Brothers and take it a lot more serious.”
“If we get around to ever doing more Gears games, I hope we can continue to drift back more towards a Christopher Nolan type dialogue as opposed to a Tim Burton or Joel Schumacher Batman.”
Traviss raised some concerns when she revealed on her official blog that, not only does she not read novels, she intentionally avoids playing games in order to maintain a “cold” approach to her work. In addition to penning the script for Gears of War 3, Traviss also had a hand in much of the franchise’s extended fiction: Aspho Fields (2008), Jacinto’s Remnant (2009), Anvil Gate (2010), Coalition’s End (2011), The Slab (2012), and issues 15-24 of the Gears of War comic series.
The newcomers bring some serious credentials to the table. Bissell is an award-winning novelist and author of Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter. He also wrote the Gears of War 3 art book that came with the Collector’s Edition of the game. Auten has worked as a consultant for 20th Century Fox where he contributed to James Cameron’s Avatar and two games in the Aliens franchise.
We may get some more insight into what direction these two will take with the Gears of War franchise. Bissell and Auten will join Cliff Bleszinski and Fred Tatasciore, the voice of Baird, at a San Diego Comic-Con panel on July 13.