Microsoft’s New Studio, The Initiative, Brings Aboard Former Devs from Rockstar, Sony Santa Monica, and More

Microsoft’s New Studio, The Initiative, Brings Aboard Former Devs from Rockstar, Sony Santa Monica, and More

Microsoft's newest studio, The Initiative, announced a slate of new hires over the weekend that include talents from some of the industry's best teams.

One of Microsoft’s biggest announcements at this past E3 involved the acquisition of studios such as Playground, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games, among others. In the process, they also announced that they were establishing an entirely new studio, known as The Initiative to join their first-party developers.

Recently, we have gained a bit more insight into just who will be working at this new Santa Monica-based studio and it includes talented developers from a variety of companies around the industry. Over the past weekend, The Initiative’s Darrell Gallagher posted on LinkedIn that the studio had acquired a slew of new members to join their team.


Gallagher specifically mentioned six new faces that were joining The Initiative and they include former-God of War lead producer Brian Westergaard, Crystal Dynamics members Lindsey McQueeney and Daniel Neuburger, along with Christian Cantamessa who is previously of Rockstar. Additionally, Microsoft’s Blake Fischer and a previous recruiter for EA and Riot, Annie Lohr, have rounded out the new additions.

Since posting this, Gallagher has deleted the announcement from his LinkedIn page. Most of the new hires that Gallagher announced in his post have since updated their own profiles to confirm that they are indeed working for the studio now, so it doesn’t seem that it was removed due to any of the hirings falling through. Regardless, ResetEra user CrimsonEclipse was able to grab a screenshot of the original post before it was removed. You can find that image at the bottom of the page.

As you may be able to tell, The Initiative is still very early in the process of setting things up at their studio. Whatever it is that they will end up creating likely won’t release for quite a long time, so don’t expect to hear much from this division of Microsoft in the coming months or years.