Microsoft has confirmed that the Academy Award-winning duo Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh (Lord of the Rings, King Kong) are set to create two "new interactive series" for Xbox 360 and XBLA. The first is a "collaborative effort with Bungie Studios to co-create the next great chapter in the Halo universe."

"It's not Halo 3," said Scott Henson, Director of the Game Development Group at Microsoft. "It's a brand new game based in the Halo IP. In a phone conversation with Joystiq, Henson disclosed that writing credits will be given to Jackson and Walsh. As for how the full-fledged game will fit within the continuity of the Halo universe among three installments, a real-time strategy game, and a film, Henson was tight-lipped. "It's going to remain a mystery," he said.

The second title will be an entirely new intellectual property -- "completely from scratch," Henson clarified -- created with the intention of "bringing new audiences into the captivating world of interactive entertainment." The game will be made in conjunction with Wingnut Interactive, a new studio created via a collaboration with Jackson/Walsh and Microsoft Games Studio.

"Fran is a really big gamer and really excited about telling stories through games," said Henson. "We haven't talked about any details and we will when we're ready." If the focus is mass appeal, then Jackson/Walsh -- who managed to make Hobbits cool -- are the best people to have at the helm.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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