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During the Gears of War Pro League Champions hosted by the ESL, Microsoft revealed some new details about the upcoming release of Gears of War 4, the highly anticipated Xbox One exclusive that's scheduled to release later this year. According to the live-stream, the game is due for release this fall, following a beta test this spring.
Gamespot compiled the details that were scattered across the Twitch live-stream of the ESL eSports event that recently took place for the season 1 championship finals. They recently did an overview of the event on the Xbox Wire.
According to the Gamespot article Microsoft will launch Gears of War 4 this upcoming fall during the holiday season of 2016. The multiplayer beta test that's scheduled to take place this spring will be open first and foremost to the people who purchased Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for the Xbox One.
There is no actual date on when developer The Coalition will commence the multiplayer beta, but it will likely be scheduled to happen well before or after the release of Uncharted 4 to avoid having its thunder stolen from the PlayStation 4 exclusive. That's not to mention that Dark Souls 3 also comes out in April so I'm sure Microsoft will likely push the beta sometime into May or early June just before or during E3. They also have to be careful not to step on the toes of Quantum Break from Remedy Entertainment, which is also scheduled to release in the spring; the last thing Microsoft needs is to cannibalize the mind-share of a high value console exclusive.
Later in the summer, Reagent Games will be conducting a multiplayer-only test for Crackdown 3 on the Xbox One, so Microsoft appears to have a steady flow of content set to arrive throughout the year for the Xbox One. This is all appearing to lead up to Microsoft's big fall release of Gears of War 4. Previously, the game was only announced to have a Holiday 2016 release window, but it's been narrowed down to the fall. Technically, the holiday season is usually anywhere between late October and early December, so it doesn't narrow down the window by too much. More than anything, it may appear to point toward a November release, which is usually when the super heavy-hitters launch.
With rumors that Ubisoft is skipping a mainline release of Assassin's Creed this year, it opens up a door for Microsoft to take that slot with Gears of War 4, assuming that's what they're planning on doing. They would only have a confirmed Call of Duty to compete with in the AAA category, but that could all change as more games get announced and receive release dates at E3.
Some gamers worry that due to the dearth of information surrounding the newest Gears of War and the almost non-existent hype for the title following its E3 reveal, that the game may slip into 2017 for further polish. Given that we've seen more of Scalebound than Gears 4 and Platinum Games actually had to delay Scalebound into 2017, I wouldn't doubt it if this newest Gears of War took a bump into the next year as well.
We'll likely get more info once the multiplayer beta tests commence for The Coalition's upcoming third-person shooter.