Microsoft, Peter Jackson to form game studio

Yes, that’s the Lord of the Rings and King Kong Peter Jackson. Cool! Here’s the full article, by Daniel Terdiman of CNET.COM.  This is a more good proof that Hollywood is paying serious attention to computer and video games than they have in the past.

I also blogged an interview with Peter Jackson last week, which in hindsight was part of the backstory leading up to this game studio announcement.

There’s more in the article about the XBox360 generally, so its worth a read if you’re staying up on the Console Wars. Here are the Jackson highlights:

The studio, which will be called Wingnut Interactive, will be a joint partnership between Microsoft Game Studios and its subsidiary studio, Bungie. It will work on the creation of a new title in the hit “Halo” series of games.

Jackson and his Academy Award-winning screenwriter, Fran Walsh, will be directly involved in the creation of the new “Halo” title.

Microsoft also said Wingnut Interactive will work on the creation of an entirely new video game, though it would not give details about it.

According to Scott Henson, director of the Xbox Advanced Technology Group, the new “Halo” games will likely come out sometime after the 2007 release of “Halo 3.”

Henson was otherwise tight-lipped about the new “Halo” titles. He did say, however, that both “Halo” titles would run only on the Xbox 360–excluding Sony’s PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3, and the original Xbox.

Wingnut Interactive will be based in New Zealand, Henson said. But he would not elaborate on the business terms of the deal.

There’s no question that the arrangement with Jackson and Walsh, who collaborated on the wildly popular “Lord of the Rings” trilogy (also produced in New Zealand), and who are known for innovative storytelling, is a coup for Microsoft. The software giant has been putting a great deal of effort into differentiating its Xbox offerings from the forthcoming Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii next-generation consoles.

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