The head of Microsoft's Gears of War studio The Coalition Rod Fergusson is leaving to join Blizzard.
The development vet revealed the news on Twitter, saying that he is proud of the work he has done on the Gears IP over the last 15 years. In March, Fergusson is going to be joining Blizzard to oversee the Diablo IP.
"Leaving is bittersweet as I love our Gears family, the fans, and everyone at The Coalition and Xbox," Fergusson said. "Thank you, it has been an honour and a privilege to work with you all."
Fergusson has been working on the Gears of War IP since the first title which launched back in 2006.
Speaking about Fergusson's departure to GamesIndustry.biz, Xbox Game Studios chief Matt Booty said that he is confident about The Coalition's future as a triple-A developer.
"Going forward, I deeply believe that one of the most valuable and important assets in the games industry are studios that have worked together and have shipped quality triple-A games," he said.
"Certainly, The Coalition is really a group of world class talent. We are also very fortunate that the leadership team that we have up there consists of a lot of senior veterans. So we're in a stable situation there, and it gives us the opportunity to go out and find a new leader for the studio and really shape the future."
Fergusson is the second high-profile member of Xbox staff that Blizzard has made in recent months following the Overwatch firm hiring former CVP of Xbox Live, Game Pass and Mixer Mike Ybarra in October. He had worked at the company for 20 years and joined Blizzard as executive vice president and general manager.
The Coalition boss will be overseeing the Diablo franchise at an interesting point in its history, with a "full" PC release coming in the form of Diablo IV, which was announced at BlizzCon 2019. But it also comes with mobile title Diablo Immortal on the horizon, which was a controversial piece of news when it was announced at Blizzard's 2018 convention.