In my opinion, these 3 things alone will keep Gears 5 from dying, or at least help keep the game thriving for years. Of course, there are other things, but these are the most important in my opinion.
Incentives, incentives, and more incentives. Challenges (Daily, weekly, monthly.), grinding for unlocks, etc, will give players a reason to keep playing, The re-up and 500 credits for levelling just doesn’t cut it. If you could buy individual items with the credits like characters, skins, effects, etc, rather than just being able to buy an RNG pack, then that would be awesome.
Quick matchmaking times. Having to wait ages to find a game, only to have the lobby dissolve cause of a quitter really kills the mood to play Gears. One change that can help with this is getting rid of core/comp and just having 1 balanced and fair tuning, because I feel like having 2 tunings is just dividing the player base, especially when there are different game modes to go along with the 2.
Just show that you care! If players report bugs, balance issues, things they don’t like about the game, and give suggestions for improvement, you (TC) should show that you are listening by putting out fast updates and patches that fix the problems. Example, many players report that the HB is OP. Rather than trying to balance it, you remove it completely from the loadout, which is very lazy. Players say that the gnasher is stupidly inconsistent and you release multiple updates for it, yet it is still not completely fixed. It shouldn’t take months AND multiple updates to fix 1 bug, and there shouldn’t be any major problems with the game a year after release. You guys are more consistent at releasing monetized packs than fixing your own game!
I’m gonna use Halo Reach as an example here. Halo Reach is almost 8 years old, yet it is still thriving. It takes less than 30 seconds to find a full lobby, there are daily and weekly challenges, and there are a lot of things to grind for. Some players are even still grinding for things!
I believe that if TC listens to the fans and really puts their heart into Gears 5, it has the potential to be one of the best GoW games ever.