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Perfect Dark


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  • 5 months later...

Sounds like this is in development hell as half the studio has buggered off.





Xbox's The Initiative studio has seen a "fast and furious" wave of senior departures in the past 12 months, VGC has learned.

As much as half of the core development team known to be working on the upcoming Perfect Dark reboot quit the company during the last year, or around 34 people, analysis of employee LinkedIn profiles has revealed.



That includes most of The Initiative's senior design team, including 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.

And the turnover of top talent doesn't end in design: Perfect Dark's two most senior writers also recently quit, analysis shows, along with the project's technical director, tech art director, lead gameplay engineer, lead animator, QA lead and more.



Interviews with multiple former senior developers cited a lack of creative autonomy and slow development progress as the reason for their departures, and described the wave of exits as "fast and furious" with project momentum said to be "heavily affected".

The Initiative's management told VGC it's confident in the team it has in place, and new talent joining, and pointed to industry-wide staffing challenges during the pandemic.

"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.



VGC's sources agreed that they would be surprised if Crystal Dynamics' introduction, combined with the significant departures of core staff, hadn't triggered an effective soft reboot of Perfect Dark and that it was likely still years away from release.




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