Gears of War 2 on magazine cover

But quite low-key. What's going on?

US magazine GamePro has unveiled the cover for its latest issue, which includes references to "Gears of War 2" despite Rainbow Six Vegas 2 taking the headline spot.

Gears of War 2 appears twice - once above the magazine logo and once in a sidebar, beneath a picture of the original game's distinctive bloody skull with a "2" stuck to the side of it

The text accompanying the cover on GamePro's website doesn't mention or clarify any of this.

Inevitably this has led to yet more speculation that GOW2 will be unveiled at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in two weeks' time.

Along with the cover, details supporting this theory include recent news that Xbox Live man John Schappert will deliver a keynote and developer Epic reportedly snapping up a huge stand next to Microsoft's.

What's more, recent reports that Kudo Tsunoda has joined Microsoft claimed that the former EA executive is "project lead on an upcoming Gears of War title", citing "sources".

Microsoft and Epic have yet to comment publicly on whether Gears of War 2 will be unveiled at GDC.

However, Epic Games vice president Mark Rein has told Eurogamer that GDC is "the show where we sell our engine not our games".

He also pointed out that blogged images of Epic and Microsoft's stands unfairly compared the size of show floor booths to expo suites, which accounted for the fact that - for instance - Microsoft's stand could apparently eat Nintendo, Sony and Nokia and still have room to wash them down with the German Pavilion.

Rein also told Eurogamer that if either of Epic's publishers (Microsoft for Gears of War 1 and Midway for Unreal Tournament 3) wanted to make game-related announcements, it would have nothing to do with the developer's presence as an engine provider.

GDC runs from 18th to 22nd February.

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