Perfect Dark’s art director and lead designer leave The Initiative

    The Initiative stunned the audience last Thursday night by announcing that the studio Crystal Dynamics, owned by Square Enix Europe, is co-producing Perfect Dark, a studio that would collaborate with the new Microsoft subsidiary in the remake of the Nintendo 64 classic.

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    Now comes some fascinating project-related information to consider. The Reddit community found through their official accounts that both Eric Persson (art director) and Sean Slayback (lead designer) have left The Initiative. Both appear to have appeared together in August 2021, although this information was just recently uncovered.

    Persson joined The Initiative in 2019 as a Conceptual Artist before being promoted to Associate Art Director and, finally, Art Director. He was previously with DICE, where he created artwork for titles such as Battlefield 1, Star Wars: Battlefront II, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, and Battlefield V.

    Slayback previously worked as a combat designer at Respawn Entertainment and Infinity Ward before joining The Initiative, on titles such as Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Titanfall 1, and Titanfall 2. in place of the two veterans, but we may soon find out when Microsoft releases new hires for The Initiative.

    Also on this topic, Alanah Pearce, a writer for SIE Santa Monica, commented on these exits from The Initiative, mentioning certain devs who left Santa Monica and relocated to The Initiative, only to return to the God of War studio later. According to Pearce, this is normal in newly formed studios, especially as they are still creating their first concepts and culture.

    The Initiative, founded in 2018, is an in-house Xbox Game Studios company run by Darrell Gallagher, a former head of studio at Crystal Dynamics and vice president of development at Activision, where he oversaw games such as Tomb Raider, Call of Duty, and Destiny.

    Daniel Neubuger (former director of Tomb Raider 2013 and Rise of the Tomb Raider), Brian Westergaard (former production director of God of War 2018), and Christian Cantamessa are among the big names involved in Perfect Dark’s production (co-creator of Manhunt, designer and writer for GTA San Andreas and Red Dead Redemption 1).–lFTxAVs8

    We’ll keep an eye out for new names that the company is looking for to fill the production gaps created by Persson and Slayback’s exits.

    Perfect Dark is being developed exclusively for the Xbox Series X|S and Windows 10.