Microsoft announced a landmark partnership today between Academy Award-winning writer, director and producer Peter Jackson, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Fran Walsh, and Microsoft Game Studios.
The partners will create two new interactive entertainment series exclusively for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live. The first series will be a collaborative effort with Bungie Studios to co-create the next great chapter in the Halo universe. The second series will be an entirely original property targeted at bringing new audiences into the captivating world of interactive entertainment.
In addition, in collaboration with Microsoft Game Studios, Jackson and Walsh are creating Wingnut Interactive. The two will create a world-class interactive entertainment studio that fuses the strength of Microsoft's technology and interactive entertainment experience with the creative and imaginative excellence of the Wingnut Interactive team.
"Microsoft has built an amazing living canvas with Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, which allows the storytellers of our time to express themselves in a new medium. They have fundamentally changed how people think about games," Jackson said. "My vision, together with Microsoft Game Studios, is to push the boundaries of game development and the future of interactive entertainment. From a movie-maker's point of view, it is clear to me that the Xbox 360 platform is the stage where storytellers can work their craft in the same way they do today with movies and books but taking it further with interactivity."
In addition to demonstrating its leadership in the next-generation of games through exclusive alliances, Microsoft Game Studios announced Halo Wars, an all-new real-time strategy game based on the legendary Halo universe and built exclusively for Xbox 360 by Ensemble Studios, the creators of the Age of Empires series. Halo Wars places the player in command of human URNS armies as they deploy for mankind's first deadly encounter with the enemy Covenant forces.
Jackson and Walsh are producing the Halo motion picture, to be directed by Neill Blomkamp, under their WingNut Films banner for Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox.