Microsoft Canada studio 'building Kinect shooter'

Microsoft Canada studio 'building Kinect shooter'

By Rob Crossley

May 3rd 2011 at 11:52AM

New name and objective for the British Columbia-based dev outfit

A Microsoft Games Studios base in Vancouver has undergone a rebrand under a new direction, the company has revealed.

MGS Vancouver, formerly known as Zipline Studios, quietly slipped into public view with its new website.

The two-floor studio is developing an FPS title using Kinect, if employee resumes are to be believed.

“MGS Vancouver is building a world-class development team in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, dedicated to making games for ‘core’ gamers,” the company said.

“Our mission is to push the limits of proven and unexplored game development and show the world what's possible on Microsoft's game consoles,” a statement read.

Microsoft hasn’t announced any current projects, but an online resume of art director Shawn Woods suggests it is working on "a core AAA shooter experience using Kinect”.

Games investment in the Vancouver region comes after years of workforce emigration to other Canadian regions.

Provinces Ontario and Quebec, which both offer at least 35 per cent tax relief on labour and production costs, have both pulled talent from Vancouver.

At its peak in 2008, Vancouver’s province of British Columbia had employed over 4,000 people for game development. No updated figures have been made public, but in the 18 months following it was said that local employment in the industry had fallen dramatically.

The turnaround came in February last year, when British Columbia officials said that the region is to benefit from a 15 to 17.5 per cent tax credit to labour costs.