Xbox studio’s secret project contains ‘gadgets and surveillance cameras’
It’s previously been suggested The Initiative is working on a reboot
California-based Xbox studio The Initiative is working on a game with “weapons, gadgets, and a camera surveillance system.”
That’s according to the LinkedIn CV of one of the studio’s former designers, which also reveals the unannounced game project is being built using Unreal Engine 4.
The Initiative is a new first-party Xbox game studio based in Santa Monica.
The company was announced in June 2018 and is comprised of a veteran team of creatives who previously worked on series including Tomb Raider, God of War and Uncharted.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has previously suggested that The Initiative could be working on a legacy IP, long speculated to be Rare’s spy shooter Perfect Dark – which would match the gameplay described in the designer’s CV.
So far, all Xbox has said officially about The Initiative’s first project is that it has the mandate to create “ambitious and innovative game experiences” for Xbox.
However, in an interview at E3 2018 following the studio’s announcement, Phil Spencer did suggest it could have been established to resurrect a legacy Xbox IP.
“When [studio head, Darrell Gallagher] left Activision we started to have a discussion about what he wanted to do next,” Spencer said at the time.
“I think he really loved his time with Crystal Dynamics working on Lara Croft and Tomb Raider, kind of re-working some of that franchise.
“We were talking about some things in our past that might be interesting… nothing to announce yet, but just some things that he might want to go work on.”
Further fuelling speculation, Spencer tweeted in January of this year that he had visited the Initiative team and that they were “challenging themselves to do new things (and old things) in new ways.”
Xbox is currently in the middle of a significant expansion of its first-party games production and at least one franchise, RPG series Fable, is understood to be the subject of a revival at its Playground studio.
Given the huge amount of third-person action game experience among its team, it’s likely The Initiative is working within the same genre.
Both studio head Gallagher and game director Daniel Neuburger led the Tomb Raider series at Crystal Dynamics, while lead designer Drew Murray held the same role for Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive.
The Initiative has also hired a group of God of War designers and its director of production, Brian Westergaard, also worked on God of War as senior managing producer.
Late last year it made Apex Legends’ weapon designer the latest recruit to its growing development team.
Xbox has indicated that it will reveal The Initiative’s game project sometime in 2020.