Juicy details out of Major Nelson's recent blogcast featuring Shadowrun Lead Designer John Howard. What we learn is that the development team is implementing a friend-linking party system for its online Live Anywhere launch title. It's about time. No studio has attempted this since Bungie debuted its 'Party System' in Halo 2 (back in 2004).
Epic would have you believe that the lack of support for party systems is Microsoft's doing. But with Halo 3 and Shadowrun both confirmed to support this feature, Epic's excuse isn't holding up. Our guess is that a Gears of War team-play patch for ranked games (and maybe an apology) is definitely in the works.