Microsoft Launches Black Tusk Studios

Microsoft Launches Black Tusk Studios


Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver wants to make the next Halo.

Given the incredible amount of time and money gamers have poured into it, it's not surprising that lots of studios want to create the next Halo. When Microsoft opens up a brand-new studio and staffs it with AAA industry veterans to do so, however, the prospect suddenly becomes much more reasonable. Microsoft's 55-person Vancouver studio has been renamed "Black Tusk," and will begin expanding right away to craft a new Microsoft IP that it hopes will be just as successful as the flagship Halo franchise.

Mike Crump, the studio manager for Black Tusk, has big plans for the fledgling outfit, including doubling its staff within the next year. "[We] are working on Microsoft's next big entertainment franchise," says Crump. "We're not working on an existing franchise, we're looking to build the next Halo ... which is really exciting. We are building something from the ground up." Black Tusk's core developers are largely ex-EA employees with an average of 12 years industry experience, and are used to working with "big games, big teams, big budgets, long timelines."

While other companies, including Rockstar and Activision, have recently shut down Vancouver operations, Crump believes that Black Tusk's location is one of its biggest assets. In addition to a sizeable pool of extant talent, the studio wants to attract talented developers from all over the world. "When we are going out and we're recruiting, whether it's California or Frankfurt, it is never a tough sell to convince somebody to move to Vancouver," Crump explains. In fact, the studio gets its name from the Black Tusk summit in British Columbia, which is sure to please locals.

Those in the Vancouver area may want to check out the studio's available jobs, but the rest of the world will have to wait and see how Black Tusk's games shape up. Having the experience and ambition necessary to launch a franchise is all well and good, but not every Microsoft property is guaranteed success.

Source: The Vancouver Sun


Even thought I'm not a fan of Halo, Ivery much want tusks to succeed.

I can't get too excited about this until they give some information about what form the IP will take. If they've resigned to making another basic first-person shooter I can't say I'll care.

I feel like they're forgetting that what made Halo so successful in the first place was very much the timing of its release. That and they didn't go in expecting to make this genre defining series. I feel like they're putting way too much pressure on this team to make lightning strike twice. That doesn't usually end well.

Please, PLEASE, don't try to be innovative with another online FPS, we don't need another one, no matter how cool your deathcams or maps or killstreaks are. That is all I... well, this guy says it better than me:

So they're making a sci-fi themed shooter with a focus on online multi-player.

Yeah, here we go.

That and they didn't go in expecting to make this genre defining series.

I don't think anyone even expected Halo to make it's shipping date. Announced in 1999 as a RTS, for Windows 98 and Mac Os, fast forward two years, a studio buy out and it's a first person shooter with no release date and no single player campaign.

Then Microsoft drops a little bomb, release by the end of the year or lose funding. Bungie found themselves with five months deliver (or be closed) and no game. The main theme was recorded as a joke never meant to be even considered and the entire campaign was made in apparently blind panic, grabbing at any piece of tech they could find that they thought would play well. Microsoft even forces them to change the title because they think Halo sounds dumb.

And then what comes out?

Only the defining game of the Xbox and the next decade of shooters.

Somehow I doubt anyone was more surprised than Bungie.

I think they're approaching the wrong way.
They're building a game intending for it to be a franchise. That's a long shot if there was one.

Try building a good game first, and if that's successful enough. Turn it into a franchise.

Don't hamstring yourself right off the bat by planning for sequels you might never make.

Just my two cents.

Well, this is going to turn out really well. Part of the reason for Halo's success was that - some later installments in the series aside - Halo: Combat Evolved had its creative spark. It brought something new to the table. It wasn't trying to be the Next...whatever. The next Doom, or whatever was Halo before Halo was Halo.

The original Halo succeeded because it was on a system otherwise devoid of games that somehow made FPS controls on a console not awful.

Maybe this Blask Tusk Studios will do something similar. The XBox 720 will be virtually devoid of decent games and they'll shove a MOBA or RTS game as a highlight and bros will flock to it.
Even if Goldeneye and Halo did lead the way towards making the FPS mass-produced blandness, their respective developers didn't milk the genre too terribly.

Maybe I'm overthinking this and Microsoft is just going to pump out another mass-produced bland space shooter.

Good for them, the cycle of New Gears, New Forza, New Fable and New Halo plus bucket loads of Kinect showelware every year is becoming stale, about time they added some new blood into the fold instead of hemorrhaging talent like crazy

Can you stop making goddamn SPEYZ MUHRINE clones? Seriously, we get it. Armored superhumans with plasma cannons = fun, move the fuck on.

$20 bucks says the first game is a Halo "inspired" game. With the same design features and similar mechanics.

If this isn't an FPS and isn't going to be released for at least 5 years, then colour me interested.

I don't believe this company has what it takes, based on this article. So far it's made up of "industry veterans" with experience that makes puts them in the FPS boom. I don't think for a second these guys will be able to make anything of substance. That doesn't mean it won't sell like mad, I just don't think they will make a good game.

I seem to remember a lot of investment in Too Human, which was intended to be a trilogy too... We'll see how this turns out...

I thought that was 343's schtick? or will they just be in some kind of over-bearing overseer shadow capacity?

I thought that was 343's schtick? or will they just be in some kind of over-bearing overseer shadow capacity?

343 made the new halo
Black Tusk is trying to make a new IP just as popular as halo. So blargh.

I really hope they try something new, sci-fi shooters have been a bit done now, making more would only make the idea stagnate as much as "Modern Warfare". They should try something new and innovative instead of pushing for sequels, with such big funding behind them they have enough cash to throw around some new ideas.


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