The Initiative, a first-party Xbox game studio announced last summer, has recruited God of War level designers to expand a development team that already boasts former GTA and Red Dead talent.
Spotted by VGC, on LinkedIn, God of War level designers Ian Miller, Ray Yeomans and Kai Zheng are now part of The Initiative, joining another ex-God of War dev in Chris O’ Neill. Xbox has snapped up a few more Sony employees too, also hiring former Motive and Naughty Dog senior designer Robert Ryan, with help from the former talent acquisition lead at Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, Fiona Cherbak.
These are big moves from Xbox, and they’re not stopping there: a further 15 job opportunities are advertised on The Initiative’s site. Going off the CVs of the talent they’ve accumulated so far, a third-person action title might be on the cards, but I guess we’ll find out in due course. Given the significant investment Microsoft’s put into first-party studios, including the Double Fine acquisition and a new Age of Empires studio, Xbox does seem to be taking exclusives very seriously, going forward.