UPDATE: Microsoft just contacted MTV Multiplayer with an official statement, confirming the prospective hires will work on Peter Jackson's "Halo" project.
“A Peter Jackson-helmed Halo project was announced at X06 in Barcelona," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "Since then, Microsoft Game Studios has been hard at work collaborating with Peter Jackson and Bungie on the development of that project. At this time, it’s necessary to grow the internal team to keep pace with development. Bungie will continue to remain involved in multiple aspects of the Halo Universe with MGS.”
[END OF UPDATE]
A few days ago, Microsoft quietly added several job listings to its careers website.
The company is looking for a Creative Director, Producer, Game Engineers and more to "help develop a new experience in the Halo universe."
It appears Microsoft Game Studios is looking for folks to become a new "Halo" development team within their Redmond, Washington offices. And they're not part of Bungie Studios. There's no mention made of working with Bungie anywhere in the job postings.
Bungie continues churning out map packs and managing the "Halo" community, but have repeatedly suggested they're working on a new game not set in the "Halo" world.
There are other "Halo" games coming. "Halo Wars" is well into production at Ensemble Studios and slated for a 2008 release.
There's also a Peter Jackson project coming called "Halo: Chronicles." We haven't heard much about that one since it was announced in late 2005.
Cleverly disguised language in the job postings point us in Mr. Jackson's direction.
According to the job listings, Microsoft wants a Creative Director for this new "Halo." But it doesn't seem a completely new endeavor; one of the bragging rights for the Creative Director is to "partner with key Hollywood talent to collaboratively craft a masterful game experience" and [emphasis added] "collaborate with game play designers, story writers, game writers, and said external luminary to deliver on a unique game in the Halo universe."
Hmm, who could that be?
Microsoft has kept their collaboration with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson very quiet. Bungie has mentioned their involvement with the supposedly episodic project -- codenamed "Halo: Chronicles" -- but never said they were developing it. The job postings' omission of the word Bungie could indicate the studio isn't involved in whatever this new project is.
Readers, how do you feel about a non-Bungie "Halo" game?