The Initiative's Upcoming Game is in a Playable State, Phil Spencer Goes Hands-On

The Initiative's forthcoming project may be further into development than we think.

February 6, 2020

When Microsoft started on its studio acquisition spree a few years back, one of the teams that joined Xbox Game Studios wasn’t an acquisition of another company, but was instead the establishment of a wholly new one. The Initiative, the name of this California-based studio, has largely been shrouded in mystery over the past few years as the main aim of the company has been to build out its team and get off the ground. But as of now, it seems that the developer is well into development on whatever it’s cooking up.

Recently seen on Twitter, Xbox head Phil Spencer paid a visit to The Initiative’s offices this week and was able to get his hands on what they’re working on. In a tweet from design director Drew Murray, Spencer can be seen holding an Xbox controller and playing this still-unknown project. “We were fortunate to have [Phil Spencer] visit The Initiative yesterday to tour the new studio, talk about where Xbox is heading, and – most importantly – get his hands on the sticks and experience the game in action!” Murray said in the caption of the tweet.


While there was nothing of the actual game that Spencer was playing to be seen in this picture that was shared due to the screen facing away from the camera, that didn’t prevent Xbox fans from trying to uncover something of note. The replies to Murrary’s tweet were mainly filled with fans trying to see if any looks at the game could be seen in the director’s glasses. Sadly and unsurprisingly, there was nothing of note to glean.

Spencer has seemingly spent a lot of time chatting with those at The Initiative recently. Just last week, Spencer himself tweeted that he had a meeting with the studio that focused on “new things” and “old things”. Perhaps because Spencer and the team at Xbox have had so much dialogue with The Initiative in recent days it could mean that the developer might be nearing a point in which it would announce what it’s working on.

Obviously, if that does end up happening, it seems likely that The Initiative would be hard at work on a game for the Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s upcoming next-gen platform. If Xbox ends up having a formal reveal event for the Series X later this year, maybe The Initiative will reveal what it has in the pipeline at that time.

Logan Moore

Logan Moore is the Managing Editor around these parts and enjoys the video game Super Mario Odyssey.

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