Former God of War Developers Join New Xbox Studio The Initiative

The Initiative, one of Xbox's latest studios, has hired a group of designers from God of War.

With Xbox acquiring new studios over the past year, The Initiative, one of their newer studios, has brought on a group of designers that worked on 2018’s God of War.

The newest additions to the team are Ian Miller, Chris O’Neill, and Ray Yeomans, who were all level designers on God of War, according to their LinkedIn profiles. Additionally, Miller and Yeomans also worked for Crystal Dynamics on the Tomb Raider franchise. Former Motive and Naughty Dog senior designer Robert Ryan has also recently joined the new studio as well.

Alongside these new hires, Fiona Cherbak, a former talent acquisition lead at Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, has joined Xbox to help expand their portfolio of studios. Additionally, game director Daniel Neuburger (Tomb Raider), lead designer Drew Murrey (Sunset Overdrive), and the studio’s director of production Brian Westergaard (God of War), a former senior managing producer, have all joined the new studio.

Based on the studio’s LinkedIn profile, The Initiative has 30 staff members so far and 15 open positions across multiple disciplines including art director, senior writer, and lead producer. While it hasn’t been revealed what the studio’s first game will be, it’s possible it’ll be a third-person game based on the backgrounds of their employees.

The Initiative is one of Microsoft’s newest studios that is apart of Xbox Game Studios alongside other acquisitions such as Ninja Theory, Playground, InXile, Obsidian, and Double Fine Production. With Project Scarlet launching holiday 2020, Xbox is gearing up to have a strong portfolio of exclusives to stand out in the next console generation.

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David Gill

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