The Last of Us Part II Designer Joins Xbox Game Studios Developer The Initiative

A The Last of Us Part II Game Designer joins The Initiative as the newest talent in Microsoft's ever-improving dream team.

According to a LinkedIn update, former Naughty Dog developer Robert Ryan joined Microsoft’s newest game studio, The Initiative, as a senior systems designer back in April. Despite being less than a year old, The Initiative is already filled with brilliant minds likeGod of War lead producer Brian Westergaard and Red Dead Redemption lead writer Christian Cantamessa.

Ryan himself accrued some credit with a nearly six-year stint spanning 2011 to 2017 as a Game Designer for Naughty Dog—designing The Last of UsThe Last of Us Part IIUncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. He went on to join Motive Studios in 2017 as a Senior Game Designer for an unannounced game.

News of Ryan’s involvement with The Initiative was originally reported by Window’s Central after Twitter user “Klobrille” posted a screenshot of Ryan’s LinkedIn profile.

The Initiative’s formation was announced at E3 2018 along with a slew of studio acquisitions from Microsoft: Ninja Theory, Compulsion Games, Playground Games, and Undead Labs. Fallout: New Vegas creator Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment both followed suit not long after. All of these steps were taken following heaps of criticism about a dearth of Xbox exclusives and studios.

No word is out on Santa Monica-based studio’s first project, but if its development is anywhere near as unorthodox as lead designer Drew Murray hopes it’ll be in this introductory video, it should be an interesting one. It’s also unclear how many more exemplary hires The Initiative is looking to make. As more information as to who they’ll next bring through their doors arises, DualShockers will keep you updated.

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Brandon Doerrer

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