Microsoft has renamed its Vancouver studio to Black Tusk Studios. The studio currently has 55 employees and is hiring more staff. The biggest is that the studio will be working on the next big AAA exclusive franchise for the Xbox.
"Being a first-party studio at Microsoft means having both the mandate and the opportunity to think and act big," read the studio's official website. "All of Microsoft’s studios share the same commitment to innovation and quality, along with support from a world-class global marketing, sales, and distribution organization."
"As part of the Microsoft Studios family, Black Tusk is able to leverage resources, technology, and experience from other first-party studios such as 343 Industries, Turn 10 Studios, Rare, Lionhead Studios, Good Science Studio and Twisted Pixel Games."
Studio manager Mike Crump, speaking with The Vancouver Sun, is looking at building the next Halo. "We are working on Microsoft’s next big entertainment franchise. 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 have been officially green-lit by Microsoft executives to go ahead with the project that we’re on. That’s the way game development works — it’s just like making a movie, you go through pitching and concepting and then at some point you have a very large meeting with the executive team and present your full pitch with the business plan and you get the green light, so that’s happened for us."