Microsoft Game Studios Vancouver Rebranded As Black Tusk Will Begin Work On Halo-Like Franchise

By Juan G. Rodriguez , Updated Nov 29, 2012 11:08 AM EST

Microsoft Game Studios Vancouver has been rebranded as Black Tusk and is increasing its staff as it begins work on Microsoft's next big Halo-Like entertainment franchise.

In a recent interview with The Vancouver Sun, Black Tusk studio manager Mike Crump spoke about the new studios opportunities and its potentially bright future.

"It is a good news story for us," said Crump. "We're excited about the opportunities here, we think Vancouver has a bright future."

According to the article the studio is actively recruiting and has already outgrown its original workspace and has moved into the larger confines of Microsoft's Big Park studio.  

The staff has an average of 12 years experience in developing triple-A video games and was founded by Crump and four other former Electronic Arts alumni.

"What that means is 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."

According to the article Crump said the new studio was working in stealth in till it got the official word from Microsoft to begin.

"We have been officially green-lit by Microsoft executives to go ahead with the project that we're on," he said. "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."

Crump also says that Microsoft is committed to Vancouver and has opened up two other studios in the area.

"Microsoft has opened two studios in the Vancouver-Victoria region this year and now there is investment in Black Tusk here in Vancouver," Crump said. "So there is a deep commitment to Vancouver and a belief in the potential of this region, what it can be in this space."

The move to open studio in Vancouver is surprising, as both Rockstar Vancouver and Radical Entertainment have closed their operations in the area.

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