Microsoft Reveals Black Tusk Studios, Hopes To Create The Next Big Franchise Like Halo

If you haven’t heard the good news yet, Microsoft has finally opened (or rather renamed MS Vancouver) a new studio that’ll be focussing on creating fresh new IPs. Sitting right in MP1st’s own backyard, Black Tusk Studio, which originally started with only 5 people, is now a full operation – a 55-eveloper studio located in Vancouver, Canada.

Bursting with talent, the team has high ambitions for their upcoming projects. Speaking with Studio Manager Mike Chump (VancouverSun), Mike discussed how their staff’a average experience in the industry is up to 12 years, which is equivalent to a Hollywood Summer blockbuster film. Expect to see “Big games, budget, teams, and timelines” he said.

“What that means is we are working on Microsoft’s next big entertainment franchise,” he 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.”

While studios have been closing left to right in Canada, the team believes that Vancouver is the right place with much investment.

“And the last piece of it is — the reason we really believe in Vancouver is it’s such a great place to live that 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.”

So what do you guys think? Don’t be fooled by the statement about Halo, as it’s speaks more of the success of the franchise rather than pertaining to another sci-fi FPS shooter.

  • You spelled Canada wrong in the 4th paragraph by the way.

    • jimmylara


  • Nemesis_96

    I like their website design :3
    It’s good start!

  • Finally Microsoft is showing a bit more ambition with its core audience. Great news this article gets a stars from me.

    • Santiago Garza

      I doubt it will be for this generation’s console. They have time to make the game, as well as the budget, and considering it’s Microsoft Game Studios’ Canadian brother, they will support them pretty much until that game they’re doing is finished. MGS has done many awesome games (both AAA and indie titles), so I think BTS can do a really awesome game.

  • a brand new Kinect exclusive game pls …!

  • Alpine

    yes Vancouver Canada, I live there mofos

  • Alco

    Maybe they should concentrate on making sure 343 Halo doesn’t suck ass first.

    • Dirtknap

      What’s your boggle?

  • MikePembo951

    better not be a 360 exclusive.
    If it’s a good game the WHOLE gaming community should be able to play it

    • TruthJustice

      Wrong. XBOX360 continues to outsell all other consoles (google it), why should they waste time on the other dying platforms?

      • MikePembo951

        and here comes the 360 fanboys…. 🙁

        Please explain why other gaming platforms should receive less content than the 360.

        Whilst microsoft would probably make it 360 exclusive because they want to literally own the gaming market, (hence xboxlive integration with windows 8 which is a stupid pointless move because any PC gamers knows full well to stay as far away from Microsoft as possible after ‘Games for Windows Live’)

        The more 360 exclusives microsoft produce the less chance other platforms have. If Microsoft get a ‘monopoly’ over the gaming market, then we as consumers are totally and utterly screwed. They would have no competition, and hence no reason to innovate in their 360 games (#CoD/#Halo) or progress technologically)

        • FYI Cod is not made by Microsoft.
          A monopoly would only affect 1st/2nd party titles, and OS updates.
          This generation has been clearly dominated by 3rd party titles, which would not be affected by a monopoly negatively. Besides even with one system there is still completion,yes Microsoft gets a cut when someone buys BLOPS2, but they get a bigger cut when someone buys Halo 4. Therefore, they would still need to complete with BLOPS2.

          • MikePembo951

            Honestly imo the Call of Duty games have not truly innovated (with the exception of zombies which is really a copy of another popular fps title).
            CoD doesnt need to innovate, (e.g. MW3), because it doesnt matter what treyarch/sledgehammer/IW release, the CoD fanbase is so big people just buy it anyway. (This ‘fanbase’ itself is harmful to innovation in games).
            I still think that these exclusivity ‘deals’ between platform manufacturers and the publishers is harmful and should be discouraged.

        • Two things

          1. Black Tusk is just Microsoft Vancouver renamed, and probably restaffed. Microsoft Vancouver as was known formally, is a first party Developer, Hence “Microsoft” in the former title similar to Sony Santa Monica, a first party dev for Sony, or EA Canada, a first party(“In-house is the correct term when talking about 3rd party publisher) developer for EA. So yeah at the most it may have a chance of being on PC a year or so later if Microsoft has another go at PC gaming space but since Steam….

          2. PS3, Nintendo and even the PC has WAY more exclusives than Xbox so your statement “The more 360 exclusives microsoft produce the less chance other platforms have. Makes no sense whatsoever as despite all the exclusives PS3 has or Nintendo, it simply means they have more games to offer to THEIR consumer for choosing to buy THEIR platform. It in no way hampers anyone as in my best estimate 87% of the industry is software for multiple platforms. You can’t cry foul because you want it to be multiplatform, it doesnt work like that, and probably never will unless the concept goes retro where multiplatform games used to be entirely different games depending on what platform you bought it for(making it exclusive to that platform, making it an exclusive game in a sense)

          • MikePembo951

            Sorry let me rephrase:
            The less platform exclusives the industry has the better

            • This is bettter. Though I can completely understand platform exclusive games, I hate platform exclusive content. I mean yeah with Microsoft, they score a lot of TIMED exclusive content for multiplatform games like Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Call of Duty, and the upcoming Tomb Raider game, Sony does way more content solely exclusive to PS3 with games like like in Red Dead Redemption that got 2 exclusive outfits, Mortal Kombat got Kratos, LA Noire got 2 or 3 exclusive cases among other things, Mass Effect 2 got weapons and armor and for FREE at that, Saint’s Row the Third got…something, same for Farcry 3, The Amazing Spiderman got the Vigilante suit, Assasin’s Creed 3 which according to the last patch which removed Ben Arnold mission markers from the map legend means the Ben Arnold missions were cut from PC and 360 versions FOR the PS3 version.YAY? And lastly Street Fighter x Tekken got a co-op mode that somehow wasn’t able to be put on Xbox 360 version, that on top of the exclusive characters, and in the case of SFXT, its an absolute wonder why that game was even released on Xbox 360. Like I honestly don’t get why everyone gets upset when X games gets Y content first on the 360. I mean yeah these kinds of deals are generally frowned upon BUT at least you get to STILL get to play the same DLC im playing…eventually, but still get to play, with PS3 that pice of DLC is something you will NEVER play on another platform. Sorry boutcha Xbox and PC owner, u mad?

      • jonchr2

        i bet your’e an american?? in europe the ps3 is the console most people have. just because americans prefer the xbox shit, doesn’t mean the whole world will. And this game will be an “xbox720” exclusive.

        • Dirtknap

          PS3 has an advantage in Europe, yes. However, if you examine the current global market share, XBOX 360 and PS3 have close to identical sales numbers, the real winner for the current gen is the Wii, regardless of region. There was also a time when XBOX 360 did own the market (other than in Japan), that era is long gone and will likely not be seen again. Right now the industry is the most competitive it’s been, with the market share so evenly split and Wii U retailing for such a low price, Microsoft and Sony will have no choice but to honor their promises to make the next gen consoles available from launch at a much lower price point than previous generations, this is a great thing for all gamers.

          But I digress, the reality is there are far fewer platform exclusive titles these days, so I’m unsure why you’re butthurt about a Microsoft studio beginning work on new and unnamed IP for their platform.

          • jonchr2

            i’m not “butthurt” about any exclusives for xbox. i just replied to the A-hole who was wrong about everything he said.

            • Dirtknap

              Apologies if I missed some context there, ignore my butthurt remark. I’ll stand by my first, though slightly off topic paragraph though. We’re heading into a great era for console gaming.

      • kby

        Because no platform is “dying” until the next consoles are out. PC, what I play on, will never die, so you should probably reconsider what you write sometimes lol

    • pot51e

      it wont be, It will be 720 / Windows exclusive…

  • jrstryker

    I like the concept. Next xbox should have some great exclusives.

  • Hol_Up

    The website is like a big ad for Vancouver. It’s way too early to tell if they have what it takes to make a big franchise because they are still trying to hire garbage boys who will take out the trash and bring them coffee..

  • mike

    I think you forgot a D you wrote eveloper James. Mike Chump? What a hilarious name.

  • EcHo84

    I find it hard to believe one studio consisting of only 55 people can make new multiple ipSS and are Halo polished, consisting of a solid core/mechanics.

    • Dirtknap

      That will be their core dev team, sounds like a wealth of knowledge there too, and with 20 odd job openings I wouldn’t be too concerned. They likely already have the groundwork laid and now need to staff for the full development of the title.

    • Santiago Garza

      They are still hiring, so the number can only go up! 🙂

  • Finally Microsoft understood the words “NEW FRANCHISE”! cheers!!

  • lol why is 360 even mentioned. It will be next gen. tards