Microsoft now owns another major franchise that’s tied to its exclusive Xbox game consoles: Gears of War.

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Image source: Giantbomb.Com

Microsoft announced that it has acquired the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games for an undisclosed sum. The Gears of Wars franchise is exclusive to the Xbox 360 and Unreal Engine developer Epic Games used the third-person shooter series to show off its engine's graphical chops.

Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney has said in a statement, “Epic Games has reached an agreement to sell the Gears of War intellectual property rights to Microsoft. We’re very proud of the franchise we built in close partnership with Microsoft over the past decade and are happy that this agreement enables Microsoft to forge ahead with the Gears universe on their industry-leading platforms as Epic concentrates its efforts on new projects.”

Gears of War is one of the top gaming franchises, having sold over 22 million copies since 2006, and earning more than $1 billion. Hollywood also has attempted to turn the series into a film franchise over the years with the game once set up at New Line.

The game has spanned four titles so far: Gears of War (2006), Gears of War 2 (2008), Gears of War 3 (2011), and Gears of War: Judgment (2013).

"We will collaborate closely with Epic to ensure the inclusion of the Unreal Engine technology into the 'Gears of War' franchise going forward remains consistent with the high quality fans have come to expect from the franchise," Hanno Lemke, general manager of Black Tusk Studios at Microsoft Studios, said in a statement.