11/29/2012 02:29 EST

Microsoft Opens Vancouver Video Game Studio


In a big development for B.C.'s gaming industry, Microsoft will produce what it calls the next "Halo" at a new studio in Vancouver.

Microsoft is opening Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver, it announced Thursday. It already has a staff of 50 and is looking to double that into next year, the Province newspaper reported.

Microsoft has big plans for its new studio. It's been tasked with producing a major new game on the level of the popular "Halo" franchise, studio manager Mike Crump told the Georgia Straight.

He said the new game is in preproduction, but wouldn't provide a release date.

Planning for the studio began a year ago, when Crump and four others laid down plans at Microsoft's location on Cambie Street, the Vancouver Sun reported.

They will soon move to Beatty Street in Yaletown.

Black Tusk Studios arrives as other video game companies have shut down or left town. Radical Entertainment shut down last June after producing games such as the "Prototype" franchise while "Max Payne 3" developer Rockstar Games packed up and moved to Toronto.

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