The local game development scene here in Vancouver has been as gloomy as our typical weather forecast, with studios shuttering left and right. Casualties thus far include Rockstar Vancouver, Ubisoft Vancouver and Radical Entertainment; several causes have been cited for this disheartening downturn in Vancouver's industry for gaming. Microsoft is looking to buck that negative trend by putting investment into a relatively young local studio called Black Tusk, which will be tasked with creating "immersive, AAA games" for its Xbox 360 platform.
It takes major investment to produce what Microsoft would consider an AAA title these days and with a headcount of no less than 55 employees, Black Tusk isn't planning on holding back. According to local news wire The Vancouver Sun, the studio's talent pool boasts an average of 12 years experience in the industry.
Black Tusk was first created around a year ago by five former Electronic Arts employees who already had their eyes on Xbox 360 development. The studio gradually built their foundations before finally getting officially backed by Microsoft to create the "next big entertainment franchise" for the Xbox 360 from the ground up.