That’s according to journalist Jeff Grubb, who reportedly made the claim during a podcast chat on Tuesday.
The Initiative is a new first-party Xbox game studio based in Santa Monica. The company was formed in 2018 and is comprised of a veteran team of creatives who previously worked on series including Tomb Raider, God of War and Uncharted.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has previously suggested that the studio could be working on a legacy IP, long speculated to be Rare’s spy shooter Perfect Dark – which would match the “weapons, gadgets, and a camera surveillance system” gameplay described in a recent designer 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.”
Both Initiative 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.