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Xbox brings a Destiny 2 writer and Tomb Raider director into its ‘quadruple-A’ studio

Microsoft’s secretive game studio, The Initiative, has been vaguely at work on Big Things for some time. The creation of the Santa Monica-based studio was revealed back at E3 2018, and the company has been quietly picking up a load of talented people. Now, the studio has announced a new round of acquisitions, including folks from Respawn, Crystal Dynamics, Bungie, Naughty Dog, and more.

Studio head Darrell Gallagher has announced a new round of Initiative hires on LinkedIn (via IGN). Two of the most notable names are Remi Lacoste, former game director on Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Marvel’s Avengers, and Christine Thompson, former narrative lead on Destiny 2. Lacoste is now an ‘experiential director’ at The Initiative, while Thompson is billed as lead writer.

Of course, we still don’t know what The Initiative is working on – just that Microsoft is billing this as an ultra-prestige studio building titles at “quadruple-A” standards. The team is working on an original IP.

Other hires with notable pedigrees announced for The Initiative this week include senior systems designer Justin Perez, previously of Respawn, and senior gameplay engineer Francisco Aisa Garcia, previously of Naughty Dog.

While the emphasis ahead of the launch of next-gen consoles has certainly been on the Xbox Series X, don’t forget that all those upcoming Xbox games are also upcoming PC games. Here’s hoping this big Initiative project lives up to its developers’ resumes.

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