Microsoft’s The Initiative Studio adds Sony Santa Monica, Rockstar and Crystal Dynamics devs to its roster

Newly formed Microsoft first-party studio The Initiative has recently added some stellar talent to its lineup. Studio head Darrell Gallagher tweeted a link to a post on LinkedIn announcing the new hires and then promptly deleted both posts.

This being the internet though, it was captured by ResetEra member CrimsonEclipse. Gallagher previously worked on Tomb Raider and Call of Duty and has also worked for Rockstar back in the early 2000s.

In June 2018, Gallagher said in an interview that “the company will recruit the best talent and work on games that no one else is making.” The addition of these developers seems to indicate that he wasn’t mucking around.

The Initiative

In Gallagher’s since deleted LinkedIn post (screenshot below) he mentions the following additions to The Initiative; 

  • Brian Westergaard
  • Christian Cantamessa
  • Daniel Neuburger
  • Blake Fischer
  • Annie Lohr
  • Lindsey McQueeney

The list of names boasts an impressive combined resume including stints at Rockstar, Respawn, Microsoft and EA. Many of the new employees of The Initiative have not yet revealed what their roles will be at the company. We do know, however, that McQueeney will be working in HR and Cantamessa will be a Narrative Consultant.

Cantamessa most recently worked as Writer and Lead Designer on Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2. While Westergaard ‘s role is unknown, he was a Lead Producer on the most recent God of War for PS4.

While details of what The Initiative is working on remains unknown, it’s certainly good news for Xbox One fans to learn of the standard of developers working at the studio.

More as we have it.

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Leo Stevenson
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

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