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New Microsoft studio working on 'Halo-sized' franchise

Vancouver outfit preparing to build "Microsoft's next big entertainment franchise"

Microsoft Game Studios Vancouver is taking on scores of new staff as it begins to work on a next generation games franchise.

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The studio, which has been rebranded as Black Tusk, is expected to double its headcount to 110 development workers by the end of the year.

Black Tusk studio manager Mike Crump says the team is "working on Microsoft's next big entertainment franchise".

"We're not working on an existing franchise, we're looking to build the next Halo here, for example, which is really exciting," Crump told regional newspaper The Vancouver Sun.

"We are building something from the ground up," he added.

According to its official website, "Black Tusk Studios is dedicated to creating immersive, AAA games that push the limits of Microsoft's entertainment platforms."

In May, the online CV of an art director at the studio seemingly let slip that the team was working on "a core AAA shooter experience using Kinect".

Additional reporting: Rob Crossley

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