High-profile layoffs struck the video game industry this year as several major studios were forced to permanently shut their doors or significantly decrease staff capacity. Radical Entertainment, WB Games, Backbone Entertainment and 38 Studios are just a few of the companies who were affected by the industry shake-up, which displaced some rather talented employees.
Financial woes and closures may have dominated headlines throughout the year, but Microsoft announced that Vancouver will be home to the freshly formed Black Tusk Studios. The studio's manager, Mike Crump, told the Vancouver Sun that this venture will be tasked with developing Microsoft's next big franchise, an opportunity that will be accompanied by a sizable budget and healthy development period.
The details surrounding Black Tusk Studios' first project remain a mystery, but the studio will be focusing on crafting a Triple A-quality title for the Xbox 360. Black Tusk officially launched with 55 people on staff, but aims to double its size by 2013. The formation of a large-scale studio can be risky in this economy given the industry's retail volatility, but Microsoft's decision should enable Black Tusk Studios access to a talented pool of employee candidates.