Xbox’s The Initiative hires Naughty Dog animation lead

October 14, 2020
Xbox's The Initiative Naughty Dog

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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.

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.

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