The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson is trading in his chainsaw gun for a book on exorcism as he departs the studio to head up Blizzard's Diablo franchise.

Fergusson made the announcement through a series of tweets yesterday, saying "I began working on Gears of War over 15 years ago and since then, it has been the joy of my life. But now it’s time for a new adventure."

"Starting in March, I will join Blizzard to oversee the Diablo franchise. Leaving is bittersweet as I love our Gears family, the fans, and everyone at The Coalition and Xbox."

Fergusson has been involved with Gears of War since 2006, when it was developed by Epic Games. In 2014 he was tapped to head The Coalition studio, and lead the franchise.

"Rod is certainly someone who has had a tremendous impact on the franchise overall, going back to the original Gears," said Microsoft Studios head, Matt Booty. "We are really grateful for the craft and just his passion, and also just what he has done to build that community. We wish him well as he moves on."

Going forward, Fergusson will oversee the Diablo franchise, which currently has two titles in development – the mobile game Diablo Immortal, and highly anticipated entry in the main series; Diablo 4.