The Design Director of Perfect Dark studio The Initiative has announced that he is leaving the project.The Initiative’s Drew Murray revealed the news on Twitter (as spotted by VGC). Murray previously worked on Resistance, Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive at Insomniac Games before leaving in 2018 to help kickstart the Microsoft first-party studio. He is leaving to focus on his “life outside of work” and tweeted that the goodbye felt bittersweet after working with “such a talented and experienced team.”
“The team has the vision and talent to knock the game and franchise out of the park,” Murray tweeted in regards to the future of the project, noting that the reveal trailer still gives him goosebumps. Interestingly, Murray points out that, when he joined The Initiative, he wasn’t aware that the team would be working on a Perfect Dark game.
Murray says that the silver lining of this is that he will get to experience Perfect Dark as a fan on launch day. The Perfect Dark reboot project was announced in December of 2020 during The Game Awards and is promising to deliver an “eco sci-fi” first-person shooter. You can learn more about the game in our coverage of its reveal.
Santa Monica-based studio The Initiative was revealed by Microsoft in 2018 and famously described as looking for ‘AAAA’ standards in job listings. The development team is currently being led by Darrell Gallagher, a veteran of Rockstar Games, Crystal Dynamics and Activision where he worked on games such as GTA IV and Tomb Raider.
God of War Lead Producer Brian Westergaard and Red Dead Redemption Lead Writer Christian Cantamessa are also working at The Initiative, most likely contributing to Perfect Dark. It’s part of Microsoft’s growing roster of studios following its recent acquisition of Zenimax Media.