A new report states that Xbox’s The Initiative Studio, the guys behind upcoming video game reboot Perfect Dark, has half of its development team quit during the past year.
According to the sources of media outlet VGC, they have learned half of the core development team of The Initiative studio has now quit and left the company for good during the past 12 months. It was reported to be about 34 people have left the company.
The report says the wave of people that have quit the company includes the senior design team like Game Director Dan Neuburger, Design Director Drew Murray, Lead Level Designer Chris O’Neill, Principal World Builder Jolyon Myers, two senior system designers, a group of three former God of War designers, and more.
Two senior writers have also quit just recently, and other senior staff has left as well. According to the analysis, The Initiative right now only has less than 50 people.
This actually coincides to when Crystal Dynamics was partnered with The Initiative to co-develop Perfect Dark last September 2021. It is speculated that Crystal Dynamics is now taking the lead and The Initiative will be the one assisting this time.
According to some of the former senior developers that left the studio, it was revealed that there was a lack of creative autonomy and slow development progress. They even described the departures of the seniors as “fast and furious” and now the project momentum has been heavily affected.
The Initiative has told VGC that the team can go through this and the new talent will be improving this around. Here is a statement the studio gave to the media outlet:
“It’s no small task to build a studio and reinvent a beloved franchise,” studio head Darrell Gallagher told VGC. “In creating The Initiative, we set out to leverage co-development partnerships to achieve our ambitions, and we’re really excited about all the progress we’re seeing with our relationship with Crystal Dynamics.
“In this journey, it’s not uncommon for there to be staffing changes, especially during a time of global upheaval over the last two years, and there’s plenty more work in front of us to deliver a fantastic Perfect Dark experience to our players.
“We wish all our former colleagues the very best, and I’m confident in the team we have in place, the new talent joining, and we can’t wait to share more with the fans.”
Some of the former developers revealed that the departures of the seniors were due to the frustration they felt over the direction of the project. The direction was set down by Gallagher and Game Director Daniel Neuburger.
As a result, the Perfect Dark reboot development is now “painfully” slow and a solid company culture was never formed.