Microsoft's "AAAA" Studio Hires Lead Developers from Anthem and Apex Legends

By Sean Carey, 13 days ago
Microsoft's "AAAA" studio The Initiative, has added two more industry veterans to their already stacked out roster of games designers and producers. This time around we have an animator, previously at the likes of BioWare, DICE and EA, and a games designer who has worked at Treyarch, Infinity Ward and Respawn.
The Initiative

According to Ryan Duffin's LinkedIn profile, Duffin has joined the studio as a Gameplay Animation Director. Most recently, he was working as the Animation Director at BioWare for the game Anthem. Other notable credits include working as the Lead Animator on Battlefield V, Senior Animator for both Battlefield 1 and Battlefield 4's DLC and even worked on the cult favourite Alan Wake as a Senior Animator at Remedy Entertainment.

Sean Slayback joins The Initiative as a Lead Systems Designer after previously working on Apex Legends and both Titanfall games for Respawn as a Senior Games Designer. Slayback was also a designer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 at Infinity Ward and a Senior Designer at Treyarch where he worked on Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, Call of Duty 3 and Call of Duty: World at War.

The studio is headed up by former Crystal Dynamics boss Darrell Gallagher and has been slowly adding new faces to the team. Most recently, ex-Naughty Dog Game Designer Robert Ryan joined the team after working on the last two Uncharted games and The Last of Us. Other notable acquisitions that The Initiative has recruited are:

• 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 Director Dan Neuberger
• Tomb Raider Technical Art Director Joe Stinchcomb
• SpaceX Senior Software Engineer Ben Diamand
• Red Dead Redemption Lead Writer Christian Cantamessa
• God of War Senior Level Designer Chris O'Neill

We still have no idea what is going on over at The Initiative, but it's clear that they are still in the process of hiring some very talented individuals, so it could be a while until we here anything on what the new studio is working on. As soon as we catch wind of something we will be the first to let you know.

Source: @Klobrille
Sean Carey
Written by Sean Carey
Hey everyone! I'm Sean. I have been writing gaming content for various outlets over the past few years while studying a degree in Journalism. I grew up on everything PlayStation — mainly Metal Gear Solid, with a brief foray into the world of Xbox. Nowadays, you'll find me mainly playing multiplayer PC games, but with the recent addition of the Xbox Games Pass for PC, I'm looking forward to improving my TA Score and completion percentage!