Who is Black Tusk Studios, of the Microsoft Division? Black Tusk Studios is set to develop the next-gen Gears of War game exclusively on the Xbox One. I'll talk about what the team is, who they are looking for and what that means.
Microsoft Studios has acquired the rights to the “Gears of War” franchise from Epic Games, including rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise. What does this mean for fans? It means a new Gears game with unlimited Gears Lifestyle possibilities including new clothing, toys, and console/controller bundles and themes. Bungie has plans to incorporate social media into new upcoming MMO Shooter 'Destiny', allowing players to remain connected to one another even when offline. Bungie is exploring the potential of using a mobile phone application to update players about new quests and inform them as to what their friends are doing in-game. It's possible Black Tusk is looking to connect players via their cell phone or tablet for stats and more.
Let's get down to who is behind Black Tusk Studios. Formerly Microsoft Vancouver, located in Vancouver, Canada. From them: "We are the official home of the Gears of War franchise and our objective is to forge the future of the IP and push the limits of Microsoft’s entertainment platforms and devices. Our team is comprised of deep creative and technical expertise from our industry’s top shooter and action titles, working cohesively to delight our fan base and shatter expectations of what is possible."
Why was an as-yet-unproven studio like Black Tusk chosen to lead the “Gears of War” development over a more established studio?
Phil Spencer (Head of Microsoft Studios): Black Tusk has assembled a world-class team with deep experience and passion for the shooter space, and specifically the “Gears of War” franchise. I am extremely confident that under the leadership of Hanno Lemke, Rod Fergusson and our other leaders in the studio, Black Tusk is well equipped to take on the future development of the “Gears of War” franchise.
The development team itself has a rich history of excellent games. The combined resume of Black Tusk's team includes Splinter Cell: Conviction, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, Crysis 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, God of War III, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, The Saboteur, and more.
Hanno Lemke is General Manager, Microsoft Studios
-Previously managing games such as Forza, Fable, and Ryse: Son of Rome
-General Manager of Black Tusk Studios. Oversight of studio and Gears of War franchise development.
Rod Fergusson previously Executive Producer at Epic Games and 2K Studio Executive Vice President of Development
-Now Studio Manager (Producer) at Black Tusk Studios
-Expertise in directly communicating with Fans and Game Community
Who is Black Tusk Studios looking for?
Senior Concept Artist
Minimum of 7 years in video game production. Black Tusk is looking for leader to add creative visual impact for the new Gears game.
2 Gameplay Designers
Minimum of 5 and 6 years experience. Gameplay is extremely important to Gears of War and they are looking for new talent who can think outside the box as Gears has always been a radical approach to cover based shooters.
Lead Online Services Engineer
Minimum of 10 years experience. Will be responsible for leading the Gears of War Game Services team to build the next generation of backend services to power the Gears of War Universe, on console, web and mobile. Expect a rich website experience and as previously mentioned they want to tie the mobile phones and mobile devices to the Gears experience.
Watch for updates on http://www.blacktuskstudios.com/