According to his LinkedIn profile (as spotted by Xbox sleuth Klobrille), Dan Neuburger left the California-based studio last month. His profile page currently flags that he is looking for work elsewhere in design or director roles.
Neuburger had worked at The Initiative for nearly four years and was previously a game director on the Tomb Raider series at Crystal Dynamics, the same studio which is now collaborating on Perfect Dark.
The Perfect Dark director’s exit marks at least the second major design departure on the project in the past 12 months, potentially more than a year ahead of the reboot’s expected release.
In February 2021 Perfect Dark’s design director Drew Murray announced he had left The Initiative to re-join his former employer Insomniac Games. Murray cited personal reasons for his decision to leave.
Murray and Neuburger leave behind a veteran team of creatives. Established in 2018, The Initiative is led by Darrell Gallagher, the former Activision development boss and head of Crystal Dynamics, developer of the Tomb Raider series.
Since Perfect Dark’s announcement in December 2020, the biggest news regarding the reboot has been that Marvel’s Avengers and Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics has been hired to help develop the project.
In a statement last year, The Initiative said: “Perfect Dark update! We are partnering with Crystal Dynamics, the world-class team behind character-driven games such as Tomb Raider, to bring this first-person spy thriller to a new generation.
“The teams couldn’t pass up a chance to work together. We’re still early in development, but incredibly excited to use this unique opportunity to deliver on the vision for Perfect Dark!”