Xbox's Phil Spencer Meets With The Initiative, Hints At Things New And Old

The Head of Xbox may have tweeted a hint as to what Microsoft's new internal game studio has been working on.

January 29, 2020

Phil Spencer is a busy man.

Just a few days after returning from a trip to Japan, the Head of Xbox tweeted Tuesday that he received an update from Microsoft’s internal studio, The Initiative, and may have included a small tease as to what the team might be working on.

The key here is that Spencer said the studio is “challenging themselves to do new [things] (and old things 🙂 ) in new ways.”

Though nothing regarding The Initiative’s work is for certain right now, deductive reasoning would suggest that Spencer’s tweet is hinting at multiple projects, with at least one of them reaching back into Xbox’s near 20-year history. Should that mean a reboot of an old series, then get your list of dormant Xbox franchises together (I’ll put my money on a Blinx comeback).


What is for certain, however, is that both The Initiative and Xbox have been stacking up for the next-gen.

The Initiative’s formation, and its task of developing first-party titles for Xbox’s platforms, was announced at E3 2018. Since then, the Darrell Gallagher led studio has raised eyebrows for the amount of high-profile talent it has assembled, hiring developers from big-name studios such as Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica, Crystal Dynamics, and Rockstar Games.

Also announced at E3 that year were Microsoft’s acquisitions of Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice), Compulsion Games (We Happy Few), Playground Games (Forza Horizon series) and Undead Labs (State of Decay). A year later, on that same stage, Microsoft announced that it had acquired storied developer Double Fine (Psychonauts, Brutal Legend) too.

After the Xbox One fumbled through the first half of this current console generation, it’s been clear for a while now that Microsoft has had its sights set on the next-gen, and that Spencer and Co. have been doing everything they can to sure up the immediate future with Xbox Series X and the long-term for the Xbox brand as a whole.

Already working in their favor are the confirmations of Halo Infinite and backward compatibility for the new console’s launch, the announcement of Hellblade II: Senua’s Saga, and a continued effort to gain a foothold in Japan.

Now it’s just a matter of seeing what The Initiative and Microsoft’s other studios have in store.

Fortunately, it shouldn’t be too long of a wait. Xbox Series X is slated for launch this Holiday and E3 is just a few short months away.


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