Xbox studio The Initiative expands with God Of War designers

Xbox studio The Initiative continues to build a ‘who’s who’ of notable talent. In the last few months it’s recruited God Of War level designers Ian Miller, Kai Zheng, Chris O’Neill and Ray Yeomans. They have joined the likes of Naughty Dog’s Robert Ryan on staff at The Initiative, along with God Of War’s former senior managing producer, Brian Westergaard.

The news comes from the eagle-eyed Video Games Chronicle, who posit that the influx of staff may signal the start of development on a new third-person action game at The Initiative.

The California-based first-party Xbox studio was set up by Microsoft to create “ambitious and innovative game experiences” for Xbox, and Xbox has additionally been scooping up studios like Obsidian, Playground, InXile and Double Fine to join the ranks in an effort to significantly invest in other first-party studios.

“For the last 19 years, we’ve been independent. Then Microsoft came to us and said, ‘What if we gave you a bunch of money.’ And I said ‘OK, yeah,'” Double Fine President Tim Schafer said of their acquisition, and added, regarding Microsoft “I am a team player. Whatever you need from Double Fine we’ll make for you. Halo stuff, Forza stuff, Excel stuff. Whatever you want, we are there.”

Wireframe #18 is out now

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