UPDATE: Epic Games has just sent over this statement from executive producer Rod Fergusson on the delay:

"I know fans are going to be disappointed with the new release date, but rest assured that this is a business decision between partners, and not a quality issue. Gears 3 was on track to be the most polished Gears of War game ever when it released in April, and this additional time allows us to polish it that much more before it hits shelves next fall.

Next week we have a major multiplayer press visit at Epic HQ, and I'm really looking forward to the fans getting to see and hear about Gears 3 Versus multiplayer for the first time. Lots more exciting news to come."

ORIGINAL STORY: Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War 3 has been delayed from 8th April 2011 to "Fall 2011".

According to a statement sent by Microsoft, Epic Games' third-person shooter was moved "to make it the marquee title for the holiday season".

"Gears of War 3 promises to be the biggest entertainment launch of 2011," the Microsoft statement reads.

"The teams at Microsoft Game Studios and Epic Games have done great work thus far readying the title for release in the spring of 2011. However, we've elected to move the launch of Gears of War 3 until Fall 2011 to make it the marquee title for the holiday season."

We've contacted Epic Games for comment and will update as and when.

Until then, know this: Gears of War 3's playable appearance at Eurogamer Expo 2010 is now even more spectacular.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editor

Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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