While we still have no idea exactly what Microsoft's "AAAA" studio The Initiative is working on, we certainly know they have talent. Another esteemed designer, this time from Naughty Dog, has come aboard.
According to their LinkedIn profile, Quebec-based Robert Ryan has joined the growing studio as a Senior Systems Designer. This is off the back of a senior role at the now-defunct Motive studio (formerly headed by Jade Raymond, who is now heading up Google Stadia's gaming division). Before that, Ryan worked on both Uncharted 3 and 4, as well as The Last of Us and its sequel.
Ryan joins an impressive list of staff members at The Initiative, which is headed up by former Crystal Dynamics studio head Darrell Gallagher. Last time we checked in with the studio, Former God of War designer Chris O'Neill had joined in an unspecified role. O'Neill's profile has now been updated to Lead Level Designer. Other key acquisitions include:
• Sunset Overdrive Director Drew Murray
• Grand Theft Auto V Technical Director Tom Shepherd
• Rise of the Tomb Raider Lead Producer Brian Westergaard
• Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Direct Dan Neuberger
• Tomb Raider Technical Art Director Joe Stinchcomb
• SpaceX Senior Software Engineer Ben Diamand
• Red Dead Redemption Lead Writer Christian Cantamessa
We're keeping our fingers crossed that The Initiative may have something to show at this year's E3, however with some very high-level roles still clearly being filled, we're probably still a long way off seeing anything substantial. In the meantime we can only speculate on what this elite task force of industry veterans could be up to.
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