When we recently got to interview the Xbox boss Phil Spencer, and he revealed that one of the two first-party games he is most looking forward to announce, is the first title from The Initiative.
This developer was founded two and a half years ago (and therefore likely needs at least two more years of development for its first game). It is based in Santa Monica and has been tasked with making games that has extremely high production values, something Microsoft previously has referred to as AAAA games.
Since the beginning, it has been vacuuming the industry for top talent and has many of the creme de la creme names from studios like Bungie, Crystal Dynamics, Respawn, Rockstar, and Treyarch. Just two weeks ago, we reported that The Initiative had snagged both the Naughty Dog Head of Melee Animation, Lee Davis, as well as their Character Shading Technical Director, Laurent Manuel García Carro.
And now the head of the studio, Darrel Gallagher, has shared a new round of co-workes on LinkedIn. It is ten new additions that come from studios like Blizzard (Stephen Clayburn, Principal Lead Online Services Engineer), Epic (Pasquale Scionti, Senior Environment/Lightning Artist), Infinity Ward (Jaime Molina, Environment Artist), Insomniac (Giovanni Martinez, Senior Environment Artist), Naughty Dog (Hawar Doghramachi, Graphics Programmer), Santa Monica Studio (Sarah Swenson, Environment Artist).
As you can see, there are quite a few people that will be working on the environment, which probably means that the actual game development is about to start. The Initiative's first game is rumored to take place in the Perfect Dark universe. It is worth pointing out that the studio head Darrell Gallagher was the Tomb Raider reboot boss, so it wouldn't be completely unreasonable that he would like to reboot yet another old franchise with a female lead.