Epic VP would "love" annual Gears of War

Plus, puts in a good word for Bobby Kotick.

Epic Games would love to release a Gears of War title every year, a la Call of Duty, according to the developer's vice president Mark Rein.

"I think if we felt we could and do justice to it, who wouldn't want to have a yearly [Gears of War]?" he told Eurogamer at this year's Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, before explaining how much he admired Activision's FPS business model.

"I really envy what they have with Call of Duty. Every year they put out something really great and they sell crazy stupid amounts. Anybody who says they wouldn't want to emulate that shouldn't be in business.

The main thing preventing Epic from following suit, Rein suggested, was limited resources.

"We're not that big a studio, so if we were going to do that it would be because we thought we could deliver something that was of real additive value. They have two teams so they can go back and forth.

"I would never rule it out. I would love to do it. If we could come up with an experience that a year later was worthy of the Gears name, why wouldn't we want to do that?

"We're about as far as we want to be away from Gears. The further you get away, people start forgetting you. We've been pretty fortunate people play our games for a long time.

When asked whether over-saturation might then weaken the appeal of the franchise, Rein explained that as long as the quality stayed high that wasn't an issue.

"Well, I've been pretty happy with each Call of Duty game," he responded.

"I buy NHL Hockey every year and I've never felt like this isn't enough over last year's. I just buy it and enjoy it each time. I don't really have any philosophical thing against that. As long as it's good value and a good customer experience, why wouldn't you? I envy what they're doing, it's just brilliant."

While on the topic of Call of Duty, Rein went on to stick up for the man gamers love to hate rabble rousing Activision top dog Bobby Kotick.

"I've talked to him once or twice I don't know him that well - but he seems like a really nice guy. The times I've spoken to him I was very impressed. He seemed very smart to me.

"Y'know, he's like me," he continued. "He likes to talk and sometimes we get ourselves in trouble. Sometimes you get in trouble for telling people what you really think they don't always want to hear it."

The latest entry in the Gears of War saga - the first since November 2008 - hits Xbox 360 on 20th September.

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