Microsoft Studios Vancouver has been rebranded as Black Tusk Studios
, and the team is tasked with creating Microsoft's "next big entertainment franchise," or as the layman says it, "the next Halo."
Black Tusk has 55 employees and looks to double that number within a year; those already there have an average of 12 years experience building AAA games. This includes studio manager and former EA man, Mike Crump.
"We are working on Microsoft's next big entertainment franchise," Crump tells The Vancouver Sun
. "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."
Microsoft laid off
a small number of people in Vancouver earlier this year, but said it remains invested in the British Columbia games industry. If it's pouring enough money to build another Halo franchise into Black Tusk, we'd say Microsoft is heavily