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The Initiative Hires Developers From Crystal Dynamics, Respawn, Rockstar And Sony Santa Monica

The Initiative was one of the five studios that Microsoft announced at E3 2018 that would join Microsoft Studios to build the first party games for Xbox. According to their website, the Initiative is about:

The Initiative is a brand new creative studio backed by one of the biggest companies in the world.

Our studio is about craft, creating story, innovating, and looking ahead to the next big thing.

Our mission is to create amazing experiences that our audience will love. 

“Games that no one else is making.”

It is lead by Darrell Gallagher who has worked on Tomb Raider, Deus Ex & Hitman at Square Enix and was the SVP, Head of Development and oversaw COD, Destiny 2 and Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy at Activision.

Darrell Gallagher announced on LinkedIn and Twitter that they have made some exciting new hires.

The tweet leads to a LinkedIn post:

Brian Westergaard – Lead Producer/Senior Producer on Rise of the Tomb Raider and Senior Managing Producer on God of War.

Annie Lohr is a recruiter who has worked at Respawn, Riot Games, and Microsoft Studios, recently at Snap Inc.

Christian Cantamessa – Leader Writer and Designer on Red Dead Redemption, Shadow of Mador.

Blake Fischer – Senior Director of Portfolio Planning for MS. According to Resetera Blake Fischer involved with getting a number of games to Xbox and has been credited for his assistance in games such as The Witcher 3, Lost Planet, Dead Rising, Ninja Gaiden , Rise of the Tomb Raider, Blinx, Tao Feng, Fall Out 3, Killer Instinct, Cuphead, Elder Scrolls IV.

Daniel Neuburger worked at Crystal Dynamics as a co-director on the Tomb Raider Reboot and Rise of the Tomb Raider alongside Brian Horton.

Linsey McQueeny lead recruiter from Crystal Dynamics and Microsoft.

It is fantastic to see Darrell Gallagher being able to hire talent from some of the best companies in the industry. Having a team who have worked on games like Red Dead Redemption, God of War, Rise of the Tomb Raider gives us high hopes on a high-quality AAA game from The Initiative. It also seems to imply that their first title would be a story driven single player experience. What is interesting though; two of out of the six hires are recruiters/HR, a possible sign of even more hires to come.

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