The Initiative seems to have hit a few bumps along the road of developing Perfect Dark, including numerous key staff leaving over the past year.
In a story by VideoGamesChronicle, a picture is painted of a team that has struggled with creative autonomy and slow rolling progress. This has lead to many of the departures, although management is still confident in the team.
Perfect Dark update! We are partnering with Crystal Dynamics, the world class team behind character-driven games such as Tomb Raider, to bring this first-person spy thriller to a new generation. pic.twitter.com/EiqjU99wMa— TheInitiative (@TheInitiative) September 24, 2021
Speaking to VGC, studio head Darrell Gallagher said “It’s no small task to build a studio and reinvent a beloved franchise. In creating The Initiative, we set out to leverage co-development partnerships to achieve our ambitions, and we’re really excited about all the progress we’re seeing with our relationship with Crystal Dynamics.
Crystal Dynamics was brought in late last year to help develop the game, and it seems with recent departures from The Initiative that this studio will have a greater influence on the direction of Perfect Dark.
While progress of the game may be facing some development challenges, Xbox seems willing to be patient as they look to build a sustainable culture of excellence throughout their studios.
VGC notes on this point, saying “It’s understood that Xbox’s leadership team are prepared to be patient with their new first-party teams… as they prioritise assembling groups capable of regularly producing the kind of critically-acclaimed prestige projects that come from Sony’s Naughty Dog and Insomniac.”.
The Initiative was unveiled in 2018 as a built from scratch studio set on creating ground breaking games. The vision is still clearly there, but we will need to wait and see how the Santa Monica based team responds to inner turmoil.