Xbox’s Newest Studio Continues Its Hiring Spree With Naughty Dog, Crystal Dynamics Alumni

Microsoft’s newest in-house studio The Initiative still has yet to announce or even tease its first game, but it’s already building up hype by building a talented and well-regarded team. Studio head Darrell Gallagher just announced a slew of new hires on LinkedIn, joining a team that already has some very big names on it.

The announcement included 16 new names working across various departments, including developers from Respawn Entertainment, Crystal Dynamics, Naughty Dog, Bungie, as well as talent making the switch from other areas of the entertainment industry.

The new hires have an impressive list of shipped games between them, and include Crystal Dynamics’ Remi Lacoste, game director on Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Marvel’s Avengers and lead on many of its earlier games, as well as Christine Thompson, a lead writer on Destiny 2 and Star Trek Online.

They join an impressive list of previously hired talent including Red Dead Redemption writer and designer Christian Cantamessa and God of War producer Brian Westergaard.

The project they’re working on is still top secret, as Initiative design director Drew Murray reiterates in his pinned tweet:

Quick Q&A to cover 75% of questions about @TheInitiative:

Can you tell me what game you’re making? No.What kind of game it is? No.When it will be revealed? No.How many people work there? No.Why not? I’ll get fired.What good are you? 🤷‍♂️

— Drew Murray (@PlaidKnuckles) February 11, 2020

Given the backgrounds of the developers being hired, it seems pretty safe to assume that The Initiative’s first big game will be in the same vein as AAA games like The Last of Us or Red Dead Redemption, but the studio could yet surprise us.

While The Initiative has previously said it would like to remain small, it’s yet to be seen what the studio’s idea of “small” actually looks like. Eight new positions are still open for applications on the studio’s careers website.

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