Xbox Exec Teases New Exclusive From Red Dead Writer

The first title from Microsoft's The Initiative studio is moving ahead.

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One of the most-anticipated new Xbox games is the unannounced title in the works at Microsoft's new studio, The Initiative. Basically nothing is known about this title, but we know it's being worked on by Red Dead Redemption writer/director Christian Cantamessa, while the studio itself was founded by former Square Enix and Call of Duty boss Darrell Gallagher.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has now provided an update on the game. In a tweet, he teased that the team at The Initiative is challenging itself to "do new things and old things."

"Incredibly talented studio challenging themselves to do new things things (and old things :-) ) in new ways," Spencer said.

People are reading into Spencer's tweet and guessing that The Initiative might be working on a reboot of an Xbox franchise, but this is only conjecture at this stage.

The Initiative design director Drew Murray said on January 21 that he and the team were visiting Xbox HQ to "get the game hammered on a bit." This presumably means the studio went to headquarters to get feedback from the top Xbox Game Studios chiefs, including Matt Booty.

A few days later, Murray praised the team at The Initiative for making "lightning-fast" changes to their game to fix issues. "The game got less wobbly these last two days...," he said.

The Initiative was announced at E3 2018 as part of Microsoft's wider announcement of new studios and acquisitions. The company, which is based in Santa Monica, says its ambition is "about craft, creating story, innovating, and looking ahead to the next big thing." While the company is owned by Microsoft, it claims to operate independently.

Cantamessa is a narrative consultant for The Initiative as opposed to a direct employee. He is also the CEO of the Sleep Deprivation Lab, which is a creative services company that worked on Shadow of Mordor, Rise of the Tomb Raider, The Crew, and Forza Horizon.

The Initiative has assembled a big team of talent for their first game. God of War lead producer Brian Westergaard is also working at the studio, alongside Dan Neuburger (a 12-year veteran of Crystal Dynamics), Blake Fischer (a 16-year Microsoft veteran in publishing), Annie Lohr (formerly a recruiter at Respawn and Snapchat), and Lindsey McQueeney (former recruiter at Google, Crystal Dynamics, and 38 Studios).

As an Xbox Game Studios title, The Initiative's first game will presumably launch across Xbox and PC and be released in Xbox Game Pass.

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