Gears of War chief Rod Fergusson has left Microsoft to join Blizzard as the new head of Diablo.
Fergusson, who has worked on the Gears of War franchice for 15 years save a stint at Irrational to close out the development of BioShock Infinite, said: "now it's time for a new adventure."
He leaves Gears developer The Coalition after last year's launch of mobile spin-off Gears Pop!, mainline game Gears 5 and ahead of the launch of strategy spin-off Gears Tactics, which is due out in April 2020.
I began working on Gears of War over 15 years ago and since then, it has been the joy of my life. But now it?s time for a new adventure. I leave Gears in the great hands of The Coalition and can?t wait for everyone to play Gears Tactics on April 28. pic.twitter.com/Az5w0B631i— Rod Fergusson (@RodFergusson) February 5, 2020
Starting in March, I will join Blizzard to oversee the Diablo franchise. Leaving is bittersweet as I love our Gears family, the fans, and everyone at The Coalition and Xbox. Thank you, it has been an honor and a privilege to work with you all. pic.twitter.com/0FuO3RFYSQ— Rod Fergusson (@RodFergusson) February 5, 2020
Fergusson joins Blizzard in March at a crucial time for the company. It's seen a number of high-profile controversies in recent years, lay-offs and departures, and the recently-released Warcraft 3: Reforged hasn't gone down well at all.
As for Diablo, Blizzard announced Diablo 4 at BlizzCon 2019, and it's working on the mobile Diablo game, Diablo Immortal, which suffered a disastrous announcement at BlizzCon 2018 the company is arguably still recovering from.
The news of Fergusson joining Blizzard comes just a few months after Mike Ybarra, the former Xbox exec who was with Microsoft for over 20 years, joined Blizzard as executive vice president and general manager.