Microsoft is officially opening a new game studio in Canada and expectations are off the charts.

Located in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Black Tusk Studios has some serious goals to meet in the coming years. Studio manager Mike Crump told the Vancouver Sun that the new first-party studio, which has already been working for the past year, was asked to come up with Microsoft’s next entertainment franchise — yes, they want to build the next Halo. The next big game is apparently already in preproduction.

“Black Tusk Studios is dedicated to creating immersive, AAA games that push the limits of Microsoft’s entertainment platforms,” the studio’s website reads.

Black Tusk had been working quietly for about a year before opening its doors to the public. The group, which is part of Microsoft Studios, has grown to 55 employees and is looking to double its workforce by the end of the year. There are several openings on the site, including ones for a lead entertainment artist, senior gameplay engineer and senior visual effects engineer. It certainly looks like the studio has some big plans.

This is all good news for the city of Vancouver, which has seen the recent departure of a couple big game studios like Rockstar Games and Radical Entertainment.

Previously on GeekWire: Halo 4 breaks record, brings in $220 million on first day

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  • Mark

    “Microsoft is officially opening up shop in Canada”

    They’ve been there for decades. What’s new there is a games studio.

    • Taylor Soper

      Thanks, Mark. I just fixed it to make that more clear.

      • guest

        The fact there is a game studio there is not new either. This studio has been in Vancouver for years also adding (and also laying off people). Ever since Don joined MS. Really nothing new here other than a rebranding exercise.

  • Guest

    Awesome! I hope to see some great Xbox 3 games from Black Tusk.

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