portal Chronicle of Video Games (VGC) reported on the staff turnover in Microsoft’s own studio The Initiative and the impact of this situation on the development of the adventure shooter Perfect Dark.
According to VGC journalists on LinkedIn, about 34 people have left The Initiative in key positions over the past year, while only 12 have been hired. The studio currently has fewer than 50 employees.
Initiative losses include director Dan Neuburger, design director Drew Murray, technical director, two senior writers, lead gameplay engineer, and so on.
Speaking to VGC, former employees of The Initiative cited the lack of creative freedom (all decisions are made exclusively “at the top”) as reasons for leaving “painful” low pace of development.
All former employees of The Initiative interviewed by VGC are surprised at how patient Microsoft leadership has been in the face of the lack of progress. Apparently Xbox is willing to give its in-house studios as much time as they need.
The initiative commented on the situation at the request of VGC. Studio management expressed confidence in the team, new hires and the positive effect of Crystal Dynamics involvement in development.
Perfect Dark is created for Xbox Series X and S. VGC sources will be surprised if staff turnover and the arrival of Crystal Dynamics hasn’t prompted a soft restart of development – don’t expect a release any time soon.