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Murray co-founded the Santa Monica, California-based studio after a long career at Insomniac Games, where he worked as a designer on the Resistance and Ratchet & Clank series, and notably as the lead designer of 2014 Xbox exclusive Sunset Overdrive.
Murray was Perfect Dark’s lead designer before stepping up to the role of design director. He notably appeared in December’s Perfect Dark video reveal, discussing how The Initiative had envisioned the reboot.
However, on Monday the designer announced on social media that he would be leaving the company after two years.
“It’s been extraordinary working shoulder-to-shoulder with such a talented and experienced team, many of whom are great friends now, but my life outside of work needs more attention and headspace than I have been able to give it lately, so I’m stepping down from my role,” he explained.
“Mystery surrounded the project when I joined the studio – I didn’t know what kind of game it was, I didn’t know it was going to be Perfect Dark, and I didn’t know anyone on the team.
“Two years later, we announced the franchise with a trailer that still gives me goosebumps. Most importantly, the team has the vision and talent to knock the game and franchise out of the park.
“My silver lining to all this is that I’m excited to join the screaming masses on Perfect Dark launch day to experience the game!”
Murray leaves behind a veteran team of creatives, lead by studio head Darrell Gallagher and game director Daniel Neuburger, both who previously helmed the Tomb Raider series at Crystal Dynamics before jumping ship to Microsoft.
Sean Slayback, who was most recently principal weapons designer at Respawn, is Perfect Dark’s lead systems designer, and Christine Thompson, who wrote the campaigns for Destiny 2 and Destiny: Rise of Iron, is Perfect Dark’s narrative lead.
The Initiative has also hired a group of God of War designers for Perfect Dark. Chris O’Neill is Perfect Dark’s lead level designer, and The Initiative’s director of production, Brian Westergaard, also worked on God of War as senior managing producer.
It’s not yet clear if any of the original Perfect Dark team members will be involved in the new game. However, original developer Rare is likely to provide a small amount of production support for the project and Kenn Lobb, who produced the game at Nintendo, is now creative director of Xbox Game Studios.