The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – For all you “Gears of War” fans – and there are millions worldwide – you won’t be able to match your skills against alien hordes hands free of a controller.

For Bulletstorm fans – and there weren’t that many – a sequel isn’t coming.

However, for fans of Epic Games who wish the company would return to its PC roots, your desire is soon to be granted. As the company turns 20, what a birthday present that could be for longtime Epic followers.

At a game developers conference in the U.K. over the weekend, Cary-based Epic Games generated a barrage of headlines with news about where the company is headed.

First, Gears of War, which is the company’s billion dollar franchise.

Epic has decided not to develop a version of Gears for the hands-free Xbox 360 Kinect.

“Let’s just bury the hatchet now,” Epic design director Cliff Bleszinki told the game website GameSpot. “Gears of War: Exile was an unannounced game that I can’t give any details about that has since been cancelled.”

Rumors about Exile had circulated for more than a year.

Next, Bullestorm.

The game developed and released by Epic’s PeopleCanFly subsidiary in Europe created some controversy with its no-holds-barred blood-and-guts violence.

Epic President Mike Capps told GameSpot a sequel had been dropped.

“We thought a lot about a sequel, and had done some initial development on it, but we found a project that we thought was a better fit for People Can Fly,” Capps told the website. “We haven’t announced that yet, but we will be announcing it pretty soon.”

Then there is the PC titlte.

“We might be working on a PC-only title,” Capps said in a panel discussion, according to Joystiq.

Added Bleszinski: “Let me say that again: we are working on a PC game.”

Epic made its reputation in the PC realm with its “Unreal Tournament” franchise. Unreal is best known now as Epic’s game development engine, which is licensed and used by companies across multiple platforms worldwide.

While the PC game market isn’t what it used to be, there are still legions of players yearning for first-class entertainment.

Maybe Epic will deliver what they are wanting.

Meanwhile, Epic continues its push into the Apple iOS space with its successful Infinity Blade franchise while under-development Fortnite (little of which has been made) has generated considerable interest.

Looks like year 21 could be a fascinating one even without more Gears.