Microsoft’s first-party dream team development studio The Initiative has pocketed a new hire from Naughty Dog.
Spotted by Xbox insider Klobrille, The Initiative has picked up Naughty Dog’s former lead of melee animation Lee Davis. The developer, who’s credits involve Uncharted 2, The Last of Us, Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us Part 2, left the developer this year to work at the new Xbox studio.
On the same day, it was announced that former Naughty Dog Character Shader Technical Director Lauren Garcia has also joined the studio as their Senior Shader engineer.
So happy to announce that this week I joined at The Initiative. This is an incredible team working on something truly special. It was so hard to left behind my friends at NaughtyDog. But I need to say thank you to @Xbox @XboxP3 to allow me be part of Xbox family! <3
— Lauren Garcia (@MrLGarcia) October 13, 2020
Davis is now the lead gameplay animator for Xbox’s upcoming exclusive project, a title that Microsoft has claimed will be the world’s first “AAAA” game, whatever that means.
Not much is known about the upcoming project by The Initiative, but the developer has been on a hiring spree since its founding. The studio has picked up developers from Sony Santa Monica, Crystal Dynamics, Bungie, Rockstar Games and much more.
The studios’ first title probably won’t be seen for a while yet, but multiple rumours have stated that the game is a reboot of the much-beloved Perfect Dark, a series by Xbox’s Sea of Thieves developer Rare.