The Initiative provides an update on Perfect Dark after the acquisition of Crystal Dynamics

The Initiative took to Twitter to provide an update on the development of Perfect Dark after news broke that Embracer Group had entered into an agreement to purchase Crystal Dynamics. Crystal Dynamics will continue to work on Perfect Dark alongside the Initiative.

StarkR3ality806d ago (Edited 806d ago )

Still don't quite know what the point in the initiative is.. supposed to be this massive studio that cranked out "AAAA" games.

After the announcement of Perfect Dark, I thought it would be Xbox's answer to Naughty Dog, or at least something along those lines. A lot of the talent has since left, so I am really worried about the future of this developer, seems like a waste of time and effort at this stage. Might have just been better to buy Crystal Dynamics themselves looking back.

PitbullMonster806d ago (Edited 806d ago )


Over half the staff already left the studio

806d ago
Eonjay806d ago

The studio is a PR stunt and nothing more. Perfect Dark is being developed by Crystal Dynamics. Microsoft will pay, of course, to have the Intiative's (and Microsoft Studios') names put on the credits.

Jin_Sakai805d ago (Edited 805d ago )

“It's kind of funny because half the staff was people they poached from Sony, and half the staff left... and returned to Sony.”

Believe it or not It’s hard to build a new studio from the ground up. Just like the rumored Sony San Diego studio that didn’t succeed.

Flawlessmic806d ago

Yea the co developer part really gets me, but look clearly they werent up to the task of being the first AAAA studio or a AAA studio for that matter, im glad they recognised they needed help and they got it.

Never played a perfect dark before so im looking forward to this one, hopefully it turns out awesome.

And before anycomes at me saying all big devs get help, sure they they do for small parts of the game get oytsourced ofcourse but u dont see there names plastered everywhere with the main developer like this where it clearly stated co dev so its 50-50. There a differe between out spurxing a few things compared to whole seperate AAA studio co developing a game with you.

Atom666806d ago

It's not what people are familiar with, mostly because Crystal is a big name, but it's not abnormal. Crystal's potential sale to Embracer also shows us why they were interested in doing a co-development deal.

But you can look at Nintendo with something like Smash, or look at what World's Edge is doing with AoE for some other examples of co-development arrangements.

There are a lot of studios out there that focus entirely on co-developing with others.

But I don't think the goal for Initiative was to ever be a huge studio on its own. The premise of what they're going for is interesting in the 1st party space, and it will require a lot of growing pains.

Put together a core group of creative leads, partner up/outsource the heavy lifting when you get to production phase.

It's not a bad structure, and not unheard of throughout the industry. They'll need partners that they work well with, though.

Flawlessmic806d ago (Edited 806d ago )


It is irregular, for it to be this extend of help,i wouldnt even call it help at this point id say they are pretty much taking on full dev of the game. sure u name a few smaller titles but again for top notch studios iv never heard of this happening.

And u say that now that the initiative wasnt meant to be this big studio but thats exactky what ms sold them as, not a AAA, but AAAA studio so clearly this team was meant to be something special, the new standard setters and MS was confident in that sttatement due to all the talent they took mostly from sony and now that it hasnt gone to plan the excuse is they were always meant to be small which is just flat out untrue.

Like i said i hope this comes out good but yea lets not get it twisted the initiative clearly hasnt gone as planned.

You dont go out steal the best talent from your competitors and get them all together with the intention of handing the development of to another studio. There are much cheaper ways to do that lol

Atom666806d ago

Go back and listen to the devs and leaders in those initial interviews from 2018. That's when they discussed doing things differently and being "agile" as a team.

The AAAA thing came from a job posting. I wouldn't read that as a reflection on their intention to be a massive studio.

The idea that they would team with someone like Crystal actually reflects those AAAA ambitions, doesn't it? Like I said, co-development isn't abnormal. It's the size of Crystal that throws people here.

Just compare it to one of their other teams. AoE has been mainly developed by Ensemble and Big Huge Games, right? Nobody thinks twice about Worlds Edge overseeing that partnership.

Initiative is testing out a similar model.

darthv72806d ago

It does seem like a strange relationship. AAAA studio is nothing of the sort and seems to be more of a think tank group. Who then recruits development teams to do the work.

Atom666806d ago


Think tank is a good way of describing it from what they've been doing.

It's also very similar to what we see in TV and Film. There is a place for it in gaming, too.

I remind people that Sakurai is credited the same as Bandai for Smash. Yet, Sora, Ltd. is just 2 employees - Sakurai and his wife. So who really developed Smash Bros.?

We don't pay attention to these co-development situations too much because the studios aren't household names like Crystal. But many are 100+ dev teams that only make their money by co-development.

806d ago
Atom666806d ago


Not sure how that conflicts with anything I said, lol.

They're familiar with Crystal. Crystal had availability and apparently the need for cash. Initiative would not be able to stay "small and agile" (their words pre- deal with Crystal) if they took on the 100's of employees necessary to make a AAA game in this short of time.

On one hand, it's like some people want to acknowledge that it's a big deal to partner with a full-fledged AAA studio (it is). At the same time, you don't want to stop and think of what that means for the scope of the game.

The AAAA thing is dumb, but think it through. If it's normal for AAA developers to partner up with co-development studios of less notoriety, wouldn't you expect a team that throws around nonsense like "AAAA" to have even more ambitious partnerships?

In reality, some people just want to be critical of this experiment for what I'm guessing is just console war nonsense.

It's an interesting project to watch if you can get past that though.

(Nice alt account btw)

Crows90805d ago


You sure have a lot of good opinions on a developer who hasn't released a single game.

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RosweeSon806d ago

Yeah shame as it’s one of the only Xbox games I’m looking forward to but on current form (unfinished halo) and previous form (crackdown3 and the endless saga) I’m not holding my breath I’m genuinely wondering what the hell goes on at Xbox. This dev used to make Racing games, they can make the new fable then 🤨🤷🏻‍♂️ 🤦🏻‍♂️🤣

ZwVw806d ago

The Initiative just sounded like a disaster in the making from the very beginning (sure, the sentiment was appealing). A studio composed of studio leads from numerous AAA studios was bound to have egos clashing left to right.

Doesn't help matters that MS once again dropped the ball by prematurely announcing another rebooted ip (ie Crackdown 3 and Phantom Dust) without making sure that their development teams were on the same page in terms of vision and blueprint for said projects first.

RosweeSon806d ago

Yeah I basically just heard perfect dark and thought cool don’t overly listen to the PR as it’s not worth the paper it’s written on and seems to be the case yet again. We’ll see I want it to be good 🤣

KingofBandits805d ago

This is the big problem with MS, always has been since the original Xbox. They buy great talent and then squander it with poor management and shoehorning dev teams into just making a specific IP, even if that studio is not well suited for the IP. Sony may have been in the game longer but PlayStations biggest growth period was during PS2, with many of their best teams coming together during that console. MS had impressive teams but they killed them off in one way or another. So it really does not surprise me that this super 4xA mega studio can't even get one game out the door.

CBaoth805d ago

the ps1 and 2 eras were nothing of the sort. Games were cheap to make and Sony was the richest kid on the block. Very few 1st party games were top sellers and the biggest ones were mainly 3rd party affairs. Just ask yourself one question: How many IPs from that era does Sony refresh currently? Just GT. It wasn't until the PS3 that Sony really invested into their 1st party studios. I don't mean from an economic standpoint but rather hiring great talent and LET them do passion projects with extended development schedules. They had the patience and belief in their studio heads and the PS4 results speak for themselves. Sony didn't have 1 1st party IP sell over 20 mil in the PS1/2/3 eras. They have 5 now....all PS4 or later titles

DarXyde805d ago

Something I mentioned in the past about that:

It's a lot of excellent talent, but the risk is that you end up in a kitchen of Gordon Ramsays, each with very different palates.

I foresee one of two things happening:

1. The game will be cancelled.
2. The game will have a lot of really good ideas with bad execution and nothing fully realized.

Microsoft's grasp of passion still seems tenuous at best. It's not just about hoarding talent and publishers. Synergy is very important, and if you have these prominent figures working together, it's difficult to find compromise among a team of leaders. It's more likely to become a competition with people competing to show whose ideas will reign supreme. You need talented people who also know how to follow others' lead. To many strong opinions about what it should be. I think Microsoft will eventually figure it out, but right now, the way they're going about it is wrong.

As much as I disliked Steve Jobs, there was one thing he said that holds today: there's no passion in their actions.

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TiredGamer806d ago

Would that have made them the first "AAAA" development team? Sounds like incredible ego and hyperbole.

RosweeSon805d ago

Tired gamer:exactly what it is people see an extra A and believe it must be reallly good. Or not 😏🤣

HICK805d ago

It's the same style of marketing BS they always do - "most powerful console" type chest pounding. They never learn

Good-Smurf806d ago

The Initiative sounds like they only there to brainstorm some ideas and then find some other developer to start the project like Comcept did to Mighty No.9 with Inti Creates handling most of the game development.

onisama806d ago

Someone reasonable for once

StarkR3ality806d ago (Edited 806d ago )

Which wouldn't be a problem as that makes sense with their name. The issues arise when you look at what they were marketed as. They were going to be the next big studio within Xbox, making "AAAA" games.

The reality is it sound like a really poorly thought out executed plan that's had to passed to another developer to save it's blushes

sourOG805d ago

What a disaster that was lol. Probably not the best example to strive for.

806d ago
Hofstaderman805d ago

Why don't they take The Initiative to actually make games?