Thursday, November 29, 2012

Microsoft Vancouver Takes on a New Name and a New Project

Microsoft Vancouver has experienced a few shakeups this past year, with news of employee lay-offs, and rumors of the studio closing. The rumors were unfounded and were mainly caused by the completion of a PC Simulator and a children's TV interactive Kinect program. Microsoft confirmed the studio would remain open for the time being.

The Canadian based studio has now been given a fresh coat of paint along with it's new name, Black Tusk Studios. Rumors still abound about the studio, with possible claims that the secretive "XBox Surface", a 7" Tablet geared towards gaming, is being developed here. The studio also may be attempting a massive game series that could rival Microsoft's biggest IP, Halo. Here is a statement from the company's "About" page:

“Black Tusk is able to leverage resources, technology, and experience from other first-party studios such as 343 Industries (Halo 4), Turn 10 Studios (Forza Motorsport), Rare Ltd., Lionhead Studios (Fable), Good Science Studio, and Twisted Pixel Games.“

In an interview with The Vancouver Sun, Mike Crump (Black Tusk Studio Manager) had this to say about the direction they are taking:

“We are working on Microsoft’s next big entertainment franchise,” Crump said. “We’re not working on an existing franchise, we’re looking to build the next Halo here in Vancouver, for example, which is really exciting. We are building something from the ground up.”

Could this be the birth of a huge new Xbox IP?

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