New Microsoft studio to 'build the next Halo'

Microsoft Vancouver renamed Black Tusk Studios, seeking to double staff by year's end for "next big entertainment franchise."

Halo may not be Microsoft's tent-pole franchise forever. Microsoft Game Studios Vancouver has been rebranded Black Tusk Studios, and has received the go-ahead to get to work on "the next Halo."

"What that means is we are working on Microsoft's next big entertainment franchise," studio manager Mike Crump told 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."

This news comes just months after Microsoft officially halted development on two games (Microsoft Flight and Project Columbia) at the company's Vancouver outfit and laid off a small number of employees.

To create its new game, Black Tusk Studios is seeking to double its staff in the next year from 55 to over 100. It is not clear just what the company is making, though a report from May 2011 indicated the firm was at work on a AAA Kinect-enabled shooter.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

1 comments
Hurvl
Hurvl

When companies say that they're building the next [insert successful franchise/game] it often seems like they just want to make a copy and not really a new IP. Though that is a bit unfair, because unless they want to give out more details on how their new franchise is actually new, in the proper sense of the word, they can't be very specific. Anyway, if it's good I hope it comes to PC, if not then I don't care.

skizzel
skizzel

They just need to create the Next generation Iconic Hero or Heroine. pretty much every great game has a character or characters that you want to be or want to know their story or make their story. think of your favorite games they probably have your favorite characters.

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

I wouldn't be working to create the "Next Halo" I would be looking to bring something fresh the FPS genre.

The_Dragon_Born
The_Dragon_Born

Halo 4 is the best Halo game since Anniversary updated the original

Kevin75
Kevin75

Was so happy when I thought this mean 343 wouldn't be making another lore breaking Halo game.

tgwolf
tgwolf

Well if they can totally change the game model, and that of course includes the rating, then it might be good...Now what in the world are they 'sporting' in content to give that rating when all that armor easily hides any of the non-existent blood from energy-blast weapons? Those should be clean wounds, and that pretty well precludes the exhibition of blood...unless they are either just sadistic or 'featuring' things that also should have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with a shooting game!

SeAzhrei
SeAzhrei

Honestly, did anybody even pretend to be shocked when the word shooter was used?

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

AAA Kinect-enabled shooter - Gamers don't want the damn thing!!

 

Man alive Microsoft.. Windows 8, Kinect.. you're actually losing your roots :/

Slagar
Slagar

In other news, readers seem to be confused by an article on Gamespot. In order to clarify their position, studio releases an update to their press release:

 

"We apologise for any inconvience caused. What we were trying to say was, we're making the next Mario game for Xbox." /s

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

first glace i was thinking what about 343 but then a i realize the artical was talking new ip which is good

KBFloYd
KBFloYd

so 343 studios bombed? and now they are giving halo to someone else....hmmm

dat desperation.

steelmouth
steelmouth

this had me excited untill the last four words AAA kinect enabled shooter, just drop the kinect and leave it at AAA enabled shooter

The__Kraken
The__Kraken

Cool. I love misleading titles.

Regardless, I hope it is something with some real RPG mechanics. MS good exclusives are mostly shooters and racers, so more than just an iota of variety would be nice.

Rivboets7
Rivboets7

A new IP?  Hoping this will be good!

pound-u
pound-u

Let me guess, it will be another garbage FPS?

INF1DEL
INF1DEL

Title of article = fail

 

Read a few comments and see how many people were confused by your pointless and poorly titled article. Try writing something that people care about for once.

SolidTy
SolidTy

Brute Force 2!!!!!!

*gasp*

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

At the moment, MS feel like one of the better publishers.  They're not rushing their games out the door, they're allowing their teams creative exploration, they're opening up new studios with plans for new (and financially risky!) IPs.

 

I'm getting fed up with so many developers getting damn lazy, resting on their laurels and being content to simply pump out the same old same old, iteration after iteration.  Yes, despite recent improvements, i'm looking at you EA.  ESPECIALLY your Sports department.....

Getbacktogaming
Getbacktogaming

I'm like an 8 year old kid I get all excited at news like that... NEW AAA IP YAY!

crashmer
crashmer

That logo needs some work lol

Printul_Noptii
Printul_Noptii

Please make it for the PC as well this time around :P

SolidTy
SolidTy

Yeah, I don't trust new devs....we'll see.

 

343 did okay with Halo 4, but that's a age old franchise they were given the engine too.

 

I wish them the best though, as I love new great new IPs. It's just a lot of new IPs aren't great. The great ones that do release, like this year's Dishonored I take note.

Spacemancer
Spacemancer

I guess 343 Industries didn't make the cut? 

Serpentes420
Serpentes420

And this line of thinking is why Sony bets Microsoft when it comes to exclusives (and I do own and love both systems for different things, no fanboyism here).  Sony seems to find good studios like Naughty Dog or Insomniac and say "make us a game" which relies on the creativity of that developer.  Microsoft on the other hand forms studios from nowhere and tries to manufacture a hit game.  It just seems to be the wrong way to go about things, but then again the XBOX is not an exclusive focused console whereas the PS is.

Atheosis
Atheosis

So another MP-centric FPS...Zzzzzz

The_Mighty_KELP
The_Mighty_KELP

I hate it when companies refer to their next project in this way. It's like a painter saying, "This sculpture is the next statue of liberty!" Even if it turns out to be one of the greatest works of art ever seen, it's a dumb comparison to make.

 

Also, I think the terms "AAA shooter" and "Kinect-enabled" are at direct odds with each other.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

The Next Halo?

That's Bungie's Project Destiny

 

The Next Halo developed by inexperienced Studio?

HUGE FAIL

BasiK3108
BasiK3108

 @warhawk-geeby agree with everything except  windows 8, it is actually fast as hell and really easy to use i love it.

skizzel
skizzel

 @SolidTy i would love it if they did. if they updated everything for next-gen it would be awesome. co-op games are fun. 

SolidTy
SolidTy

@andrew_ribbons

The second paragraph describes the Xbox 1st party. They release very few retail games, so the few retail 1st party games they do release, we get at the end of the year. They are quality yes, but very few, but it's the same predictable GeoW, Halo, Forza, Fable combination.

 

We haven't even gotten this new game from this studio yet, so I think praise will be due when we see what this is, and if it's any good.

 

I have trouble praising a publisher that hardly releases content, and when it comes it's one of the more predictable games. I'm happy for the quality, but disappointed by the very, very small 1st party retail output that has plagued my two 360 machines roughly all generation. It got really bad around 2008-2009.

kidnatural
kidnatural

 @jedimastr 343i is making Halo games. This is talking about "the next Halo" as in "the next hit, 1st party IP".

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

 @Printul_Noptii 

 

If the game failed to be sold at least $4 million - $6 million projection like Alan Wake or Fable 3 was, it will absolutely comes to PC,, 

 

and if it sold beyond $6 million like Gears of War or Halo, it will absolutely will never comes to PC, and stay as Xbox exclusive,,

 

hope it ends up decent and critically acclaimed,

but not sold really well .......

 

LOL

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

 @SolidTy Well they did an awful lot of work on the engine from Reach -> H4.  I mean in H4 the game runs smoother framerate wise, while also being rendered at full 720p and having a VASTLY more detailed render scene.  The number of polys went up 25% over Reach, which is no small achievement considering Reach was already pushing the 360 hardware pretty hard.

 

I think 343 also pushed the series forward, big time.  This time it feels more like a full blown epic franchise, something to get truely excited about.  I dunno about anyone else, but Reach felt like what it was.  Bungie finishing off their efforts with Halo with one final hurrah, but it really wasn't anything to write home about.  I felt that ODST had more soul to it, Halo 3 had more character to it.  Reach felt....like a goodbye.  Which again.  It was.

y3ivan
y3ivan

 @Spacemancer 343 ind is in charge of Halo franchise. 

 

This is a new team, possible "halo wars".

SolidTy
SolidTy

 @Spacemancer They are busy with Halo 4 : ODST, Halo 2 HD, Halo 5, Halo 6, and Halo vs. GeoW.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

 @Serpentes420 i see where you are coming from  and agree. They were exclusive focused when it counted at the start of the xbox 360 life cycle when the ps 3 was over price and had no good games. 

kidnatural
kidnatural

 @Serpentes420 That doesn't even make sense. This was an existing studio, they are adding developers to make a new IP for their console. It's almost the same thing they did with 343i to develop Halo 4.

kidnatural
kidnatural

 @Ladiesman17 The irony in your "HUGE FAIL" comment did actually make the cut in being humorous. Read the article, "next Halo" is saying "next big hit for Microsoft" ala another first party title. It did not mean "We'll hire some devs, and make a game that's just like Halo."

SolidTy
SolidTy

@andrew_ribbons

Halo 4 also marks the first time the Halo main games didn't score 90% or above on Metacritic.It's currently at 87/100, which shocked a lot of people.

 

A lot of gamers have "new game is fancy" goggles on. The true test will be one-two years from now, to see if we are still playing our copies of Halo 4.

 

We've had Years to dissect Halo Reach, we'll see how we feel about 343's first effort in a few years after we have had the same amount of years to dissect Halo 4. Perhaps we will have a better conversation about how good Halo 4 truly was when Halo 5 has been out a month.

kidnatural
kidnatural

 @y3ivan  @Spacemancer Lol. How many people read the article? They aren't making a Halo anything, they're making a new IP. It's Microsoft attempting to add another "big hit" IP under their belt aside from Halo and Gears of War.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

 @kidnatural 

 

I aware of that,, that's why I put Project Destiny on it,,

The Next Halo = Halo Wannabe

 

I'm confused how should I put that one into a words,,

my grammar is a bit lacking

 

=?