The Initiative’s first game will be revealed next year, according to a Game Informer interview with Xbox Game Studios’ head Matt Booty. Microsoft’s first-party studio based in Santa Monica, California has been established in 2018 and announced at that year’s E3.
The studio has yet to share information about what it is working on. It’s led by former Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics’ Darrell Gallagher and has hired from Naughty Dog, SIE Santa Monica Studio, Insomniac Games, and more over the last two years.
According to the details shared by Game Informer, the studio has been “using its geographic ties to the film industry to tap those resources and explore new ways to push gaming forward as a medium.” The studio is likely aiming for a highly cinematic experience in the vein of the latest and biggest action-adventure games.
Game Informer’s Brian Shea has wrapped up his coverage about The Initiative, adding that “Booty tells me we’ll learn more over the next 12 months,” and this is the first hint at more news about the development team revealing what it is working on at E3 2020.
While we won’t know more about that for a while, the Initiative’s Drew Murray (former game director on Sunset Overdrive, now design director) has shared that the team is already leveraging other Xbox Game Studios’ expertise. The one that has been particularly collaborative in that process is Gears 5‘s The Coalition.
“They’ve been incredibly generous sharing their methods for designing features and levels,” Murray said and added that staffers from that team have been the first outside of the studio to look at and even play a build of their incoming title, as you can see in the tweet below.
“A couple of the people there were the first non-The Initiative people to see (and play) the game, and they’ve given us some great outside, objective perspectives on our work. Good people.”
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, as in October already, we had reported about the studio starting a playtest session on its next game. The title has been known to be playable for at least several months now and is likely receiving the last touches before getting revealed.
They’ve been incredibly generous sharing their methods for designing features and levels. A couple of the people there were the first non-@TheInitiative people to see (and play) the game, and they’ve given us some great outside, objective perspectives on our work. Good people.
— Drew Murray (@PlaidKnuckles) December 21, 2019