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Perfect Dark development going well, insists Crystal Dynamics, despite unflattering report

Crystal Dynamics has partnered with Microsoft's The Initiative on the reboot.

Given the lack of any real updates on it since its 2020 announcement, it’s easy to assume that Microsoft’s reboot of Perfect Dark is still many years away from releasing. While there remains no news on a potential release date or even when we’ll get to see a new trailer (let alone any gameplay), developer Crystal Dynamics wants to assure people that work on the project is going swimmingly.

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CEO Phil Rogers has gone so far as to say that development is going “extremely well,” addressing Perfect Dark during a recent earnings call for Crystal Dynamics’ new parent company Embracer Group.

“What’s been so promising internally is seeing how our team took on this opportunity, a new way of working,” he said as transcribed by VGC. “If we think about the future of how we work, collaboration across studios, across time zones, across geographies, across different companies, will all become more common, so it is great to see the team at The Initiative and our team across Crystal studios working so well together.”

As a reminder, the Perfect Dark reboot began development at Microsoft’s The Initiative, a brand new studio the company formed in 2018 to make triple-A Xbox exclusives. In 2021, Microsoft announced that it had brought in Crystal Dynamics to assist with development. It was owned by Square Enix at the time but has since been sold to Embracer, something which The Initiative assured wouldn’t affect development.

However, a report from earlier this year claimed that work on Perfect Dark has been anything but smooth. It was said that nearly half of The Initiative’s staff left in the past year, including key figures like the game director and design director. If anything, it began to seem like Crystal Dynamics was leading development instead.

Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty refuted this in September, saying that Crystal Dynamics’ involvement was not a sign of trouble and that the days of triple-A games being made by just one studio are long gone. “How we make games is evolving. The idea of a single team under one roof really doesn’t happen that often anymore,” he explained, as transcribed by VGC.

As a result, this makes the development process more complex since “the days are gone when you can sort of go ‘everybody, round up the team in the cafeteria, I want to tell everybody to work harder this Wednesday.'”

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Michael Beckwith
Michael Beckwith is a freelance writer who's been covering games professionally since 2014. He has contributed to websites such as Game Rant and TechRaptor. He is an avid Nintendo fan, with his favorite game being Xenoblade Chronicles.