2019 is looking sharp and stellar for Gears of War fans. The trio of projects announced during last year’s E3 may be out end of the year. We have the next mothership instalment called Gears 5 (they officially dropped “of War” this time around) for Xbox One and PC as well as a strategy title called Gears Tactics which is basically a PC-exclusive Gears-version of X-COM.

And then we have the weirdo of the bunch: Gears Pop, a mobile game based on the Funko Pop versions of the Gears of War cast and universe. Think of the game as a fan service title for die-hard fans and an entry point for casual players. The fact that it’s free-to-play also helps its cause in getting the mainstream audience’s attention.

Here’s what else we know so far (via Gamesindustry.biz):

-It’s developed by Mediatonic, the London-based studio responsible for Square Enix RPG Heavenstrike Rivals and the international remake of pigeon-dating visual novel Hatoful Boyfriend.

-The dev team has a long-term relationship with Xbox; they created Xbox Live Arcade titles Foul Play and Fable Fortune.

-According to the company’s commercial director Helen Burnill, the team had to work closely with The Coalition about the IP, as well as figure out how to take a “brutal, ultraviolent game” and create a  mobile game for a broader audience?

“With any IP, we look to boil it down to what the strengths are, what makes that IP unique, what are the characteristics. With Gears, it’s things like cover combat and mechanics that are inherent to the franchise. So it’s been about… taking those without necessarily taking the gory, adult gameplay that’s a great fit for a console 18+ audience, but not necessarily a wider mobile audience.”

-And here’s how it looks like:

-Yes, it’s basically Clash Royale but with Gears characters stylized as Funko Pop figurines. You summon units on your side, and they proceed on forward to take down your opponent’s outposts and base to net you a win.

-There is one main addition to the mobile RTS mechanic set by Supercell’s moneymaker: When the timer is down to 60 seconds, your power output doubles which means you can summon more units or bigger Locust units. You can either build a deck that takes advantage of this bonus, or add one or two expensive-but-big-units and save them when the time comes. Your choice.

-Notice something? Xbox and Gears fans aren’t giving this game and its video a lot of grief and dislikes, unlike oh say Blizzard when they announced Diablo Immortal and EA when they announced Command & Conquer: Rivals. The difference and tone of the announcements are clear: Xbox and The Coalition relegated its gameplay reveal on its Gears Pop! YouTube channel instead of taking the spotlight from a giant stage with a hardcore gaming/PC-gaming audience.

The other two stuck with their hubris; no prize for guessing what happened next.

-There is no concrete release date for this game, but it’s slated for 2019. The game’s on soft launch right now, so do check out your friendly neighbourhood app store to see if it’s available in your region yet.

Check out the full Gamesindustry.biz interview here.

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