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Microsoft plans to open new game studio in Canada

Microsoft is expanding its game development studio wings once again. A new report on the Vancouver Sun web site says that Microsoft will open a new game studio in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Microsoft already has a studio in the Vancouver area of British Columbia. The new Victoria studio will open sometime in early 2012 and could employ up to 60 people.

The new studio location, which will naturally be called Microsoft Studios Victoria, was chosen partly because of its close proximity to Microsoft's global headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It was also picked for Victoria's high standard of living. However, one big factor may be that Don Mattrick, the current head of Microsoft's gaming division, happens to be a native of the area.

The studio will be headed up by Chris Robertson, who previously founded the game studio BlackBox, best known for developing a number of games in Electronic Arts' Need for Speed series. Robertson sold the studio to EA while Mattrick was in charge of the game publisher.

At the moment, there's no word on what kinds of games the new Microsoft Studios Victoria will be making but the article did say that it would be creating game tiles for several formats. That will include Microsoft's Xbox 360 console but it will also be developing games for mobile phones (most likely Windows Phone) as well as tablets. This is the first indication that Microsoft will be making games specifically for tablets, perhaps with Windows 8's Metro touch screen interface in mind.

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