Black Tusk Studios, formerly Microsoft Vancouver, is video game development studio owned by Microsoft in Vancouver, Canada. The studio changed its name in November 2012 and was tasked with creating a major franchise for Microsoft to rival their popular Halo franchise. Prior to its name change, the studio was working on Microsoft Flight and a Kinect game. It was announced on January 27, 2014 that Microsoft had acquired the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games and that Black Tusk would be tasked with developing future games in the series. As part of the Gears of War acquisition, Microsoft also hired Rod Fergusson, who was the executive producer and director of production on the first three Gears of War games at Epic, to oversee Gears of War development at Black Tusk. It's unknown what happened to the new franchise that the studio was developing before Gears of War acquisition.