Gears Pop, the cute mobile spin-off from the usually grim and gritty Gears of War franchise, made a surprise debut at E3 earlier this year. Now with the game around the corner in some territories, The Coalition has shown the first gameplay footage.
In an extended dev diary, studio head Rod Fergusson and game director Tyler Bielman explain that the game is preparing for a soft launch–the practice when mobile games launch in some individual territories to put a game through its paces on a small-scale, similar to a beta. Since word would be getting out regarding the game at that point anyway, The Coalition decided this was the time to show off footage. The result is an extended look at a single match, lasting about three minutes, with a striking resemblance to the mobile game Clash Royale.
As Bielman explains, their goals in transitioning Gears to a new format was to deliver on a few pillars of the Gears universe: cover, so-called “explosive moments,” and the familiar Gears characters. You can build a team of Gears heroes and villains for 3v3 matches in an arena setting.
Gears Pop was one of three games that made its debut at E3 2018, alongside Gears Tactics for PC and Gears 5 for Xbox One. Gears 5 debuted a trailer along with its original announcement. Both Gears 5 and Gears Pop are scheduled for release in 2019, while Tactics doesn’t yet have a release date.