Microsoft To Form New Game Studio With Lord of The Rings Director Peter Jackson

Dennis Faas's picture

If you've ever seen a picture of Lord of the Rings and King Kong director Peter Jackson, you know that he's a big man with messy hair and a bushy, scruffy beard and mustache. It's kind of hard to picture someone of that description standing in the same room with Bill Gates: the essence of corporate tidiness.

But in the business world, the only appearances that matter are the color of the cash being handed out, the size of the numbers on them, and how thick the wad is.

Therefore, it's not too surprising that Jackson and Microsoft have come together in a Kong-sized deal to form a major video game studio.

The joint company -- titled Wingnut Interactive -- will work on a new installment in what is easily Microsoft's flagship Xbox franchise: Halo. Jackson's screenwriter, Fran Walsh -- an Academy Award winner -- will also be involved in the creation of the title. (Source:

However, "it is not Halo 3" that Jackson will be producing -- according to Jeff Bell, the corporate vice president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division. (Source:

In addition to the Halo project, Jackson and Walsh will be creating "an entirely original property targeted at bringing new audiences into the captivating world of interactive entertainment."

The Lord of the Rings director is extremely enthusiastic about the incredible potential of the video game medium.

"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," Jackson stated. "They have fundamentally changed how people think about games. My vision, together with Microsoft Game Studios, is to push the boundaries of game development and the future of interactive entertainment," he continued. "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." (Source:

Jackson and Walsh are also the executive producers for the upcoming Halo motion picture -- and a video game version of Jackson's King Kong (pretentiously titled "Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie") was released for multiple systems alongside the film last year. (Source:

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