The Initiative (a new Microsoft game development studio) has released a video that explains what the company is all about. The Santa Monica based studio aims to bring in talent from not just the game industry but from other industries like TV, film, and music as well, according to studio head Darrell Gallagher, who himself is a veteran of Square Enix and Activision.
The video shows that The Initiative just recently moved into an office. You’ll also see some of the positions its employees hold. Brian Westergaard (God of War) is the director of production, Drew Murray (Sunset Overdrive, Resistance 3) is a lead designer, William Archbell (343 Industries) is the technical director, Blake Fischer (Xbox) is director of world and narrative, and Daniel Neuburger (Rise of the Tomb Raider) is the game director.
Neuburger says in the video that The Initiative plans on “staying small and staying agile" but we’ll see what that means in exactly in time. Other developers in the video talk about how The Initiative plans to "push boundaries," "challenge convention," and make something "spectacular and unique." Although they aren’t in the video, the team also includes Rockstar Games veteran Tom Shepherd and Red Dead Redemption 1 writer/designer Christian Cantamessa.
The Initiative is far from complete though. Their website shows the company has more than a dozen open positions across a number of fields including art, design, engineering, production, and operations. The Initiative was announced at E3 2018 as part of Microsoft's wider announcement of new studios and acquisitions. While the company is owned by Microsoft, it claims to operate independently.