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Perfect Dark is Co-Developed by Crystal Dynamics, Announced The Initiative

Perfect Dark is Co-Developed by Crystal Dynamics, Announced The Initiative - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 02 October 2021 / 2,140 Views

The developer for the upcoming Perfect Dark game, The Initiative, via Twitter announced they have partnered with Tomb Raider studio, Crystal Dynamics, to develop the game together.

"We are partnering with Crystal Dynamics, the world class team behind character-driven games such as Tomb Raider, to bring this first-person spy thriller to a new generation," said The Initiative.

The Initiative did add the game is still in early development, but they are excited to work with Crystal Dynamics.

"The teams couldn’t pass up a chance to work together," said The Initiative. "We’re still early in development, but incredibly excited to use this unique opportunity to deliver on the vision for Perfect Dark!"


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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33 Comments
gtotheunit91 (on 23 September 2021)

I can’t be the only one wondering why a Microsoft first-party studio built from the ground up to develop major titles is bringing in a large third-party studio for help…..am I missing something? Or does this mean Microsoft is buying Square Enix?!

They said at the Game Awards in December that they were early in development as well. Maybe they’re running behind on schedule and the head of The Initiative used to be head of Crystal Dynamics, so asking for a favor? It definitely isn’t because of lack of talent. There’s major veteran talent all up and down this studio!

  • +6
pitzy272 gtotheunit91 (on 23 September 2021)

I thought the exact same thing. I can’t think of any other reason why they would be working together. If MS buys SE, I think people will lose it.

  • +7
2zosteven pitzy272 (on 23 September 2021)

wow! would be terrible if Microsoft bought Square Enix. Had that thought in my heads for a long time now.

  • +4
zakr1995 2zosteven (on 25 September 2021)

How do you think us Xbox gamers feel right now, with Square Enix treating us as second class customers.

  • +7
shikamaru317 gtotheunit91 (on 23 September 2021)

Rumor is that The Initiative was never intended to be a complete studio, it's more of a Mistwalker Lost Odyssey situation (where the lead devs were at Mistwalker, with the grunt work done by feelplus), most of the the core devs for their games (lead and senior positions) will be at The Initiative, while a few of the lead and senior positions plus all of the grunt work devs will be at 2nd party partner studios, like Crystal Dynamics here.

That being said, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if MS makes Square Enix an offer to acquire their western division. Square has been mismanaging their western division for years, Square managed to basically kill both Deus Ex and Tomb Raider from Eidos and Crystal with poor decisions, then had them co-develop the disaster that is Avengers together. Before that, IO Interactive literally bought their own freedom and the Hitman IP from Square because they hated being owned by them, and Square closed United Front Games instead of letting them make Sleeping Dogs 2. After so much mismanagement at Square Western division, I wouldn't be surprised if Square wants to wash their hands of the western division and sell it all off to the highest bidder. I guess it depends on how well Guardians of the Galaxy from Eidos does, if it flops like Avengers I could definitely see Square selling the western division to the highest bidder.

  • -2
twintail shikamaru317 (on 24 September 2021)

Perhaps. I think with CD is still working on the Avengers without the need for the full studio, SE saw an opportunity to put the team to use as a support studio.

But it's an interesting turn of events. Anything could come from this.

  • +1
Alistair shikamaru317 (on 24 September 2021)

I think SE is one of my favorite developers, but when they went all in on Avengers and GOTG, omg, I couldn't be less interested in them. Both of those flopping means SE is still a great dev company, but financially they would be in trouble and it would be a smart move for Microsoft to pick them up.

  • +3
LivncA_Dis3 Alistair (on 24 September 2021)

square enix only published the game crystal dynamics deved avengers and eidos inter deved gotg!

  • -2
Alistair LivncA_Dis3 (on 25 September 2021)

Crystal Dynamics and Eidos are both SE dev studios, right?

  • +1
method114 shikamaru317 (on 24 September 2021)

Which honestly wouldn't be a good purchase for MS. You just listed all the issues they've had would be horrible for MS to purchase them. Save your money for something else.

  • 0
shikamaru317 method114 (on 24 September 2021)

Nah, pretty much all of the failures within Square Enix West the past decade can be traced back to poor decisions by Square themselves, the publisher, not the individual studios. It would 100% be worth it for MS to acquire the whole Square West division, gut the leadership, and put the two studios and all of Square West's IP's under Matt Booty Xbox Game Studios control.

The studios themselves (Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal) are valuable, both large AAA studios capable of working on multiple AAA games at once. The IP's are very valuable as well, particularly Tomb Raider. Deus Ex, Sleeping Dogs (which Xbox could find a studio to revive), and Just Cause. They just need better leadership, which Booty and his team can provide.

  • -6
method114 shikamaru317 (on 24 September 2021)

I agree the IPs are great I loved TR (thought it turned into a better UC). Just cause was never something I was into but the other three are great. If the issue indeed was the the publisher then sure its a great purchase.

I did some reading though and during an investor meeting the games actually got high ratings it just didn't translate into sales. So doesn't seem like anyone did anything wrong the games just didn't sell well enough to justify the cost. So maybe something like GP can fix that I don't know.

  • 0
scrapking shikamaru317 (on 24 September 2021)

I think there's a simpler explanation. The Initiative is re-tooling to work with Unreal Engine 5, which is a huge disruption to their workflow. To deliver a true next-gen Gears game using UE5, they're going to require years of intensive learning of UE5. They likely lack the capacity to also do Perfect Dark without help.

  • -1
shikamaru317 scrapking (on 24 September 2021)

I think you are mixing up The Coalition (Gears) and The Initiative (Perfect Dark).

  • +3
scrapking shikamaru317 (on 24 September 2021)

Damn, you're totally correct! D'oh! Thanks for the correction. :)

  • 0
LivncA_Dis3 shikamaru317 (on 24 September 2021)

agreed they might buy square enix western sister or subsidiary companies like eidos/ crystal/ hitman devs that were let go io interactive?/

  • -2
zakr1995 (on 25 September 2021)

People need to let the AAAA term go, it was used once for a job listing, which im 99% sure was a typo and they have never used it again, just use your brain for a second.

  • +5
Ashadelo zakr1995 (on 27 September 2021)

Why have four A's when you can have five!! AAAAA

  • +1
smroadkill15 (on 24 September 2021)

Some of these hot takes are ridiculous.
"MS is buying Square Enix!" "Why can't a AAAA studio get the job done?" etc.
First, this means literally nothing in regards to MS acquiring anyone. Former studio head at Crystal Dymanics is the studio head of The Initiative. He has connections with CD and it's a quality studio. Really all that needs to be said.
The term AAAA is such horse crap. MS has never once referred to The Initiative as a AAAA studio. It was on a Linked-In job listing that was more than likely a typo. Yet we still have people running around saying it. It's a studio with 70 devs. Why on earth would they call themselves AAAA.
Lastly, as I mentioned, it's a 70 person studio. They were probably hit hard with Covid on the West Coast and need support. Most of the other Xbox studios are busy with their own games or assisting with getting Halo Infinite out the gate.

Let's come back to Earth.

  • +3
Libara smroadkill15 (on 25 September 2021)

Looking at the disagrees it appears some people here really are afraid of facts.

  • +6
smroadkill15 Libara (on 25 September 2021)

Yep, without a single explanation of why they disagree.

  • +6
Shadow1980 smroadkill15 (on 25 September 2021)

There's a reason why I don't like upvote/downvote systems. Comments can just be buried without any attempt at actual engagement, which is always going to be an issue where bitter factionalism exists in a community. It doesn't help that some people on this site have enhanced voting power for being supporters.

  • +4
Azzanation (on 25 September 2021)

How do people go from a partnership to being brought out? Its nothing more than a support studio.

  • +1
CaptainExplosion (on 23 September 2021)

I just hope it stays an FPS.

  • 0
Trentonater (on 23 September 2021)

Every image they show of her makes me think Joanna's design now looks too identical to Jesse from Control. The character is known for switching outfits and i worry it falls into modern stylistic homogeneity if it were embarrassed of the roots. Which is a feeling i got from the tomb raider reboots.

  • 0
LivncA_Dis3 (on 24 September 2021)

initiative really didnt take the initiative on this one,
sturggling to make their "own" exclusive and has to rely on buying big third party publishers devs like bethesda family just to have exclusives hahaha

  • -4
smroadkill15 LivncA_Dis3 (on 25 September 2021)

I guess every studio that has received outside assistance is incompetent at their job. Then bringing up Bethesda which has nothing to do with any of this. These hot takes are something else.

  • +8
TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 24 September 2021)

I hope they live up to and deliver on their "AAAA" aim, though I'm sceptical. I don't think the game will come out until 2024 at least.

  • -4
Blood_Tears (on 24 September 2021)

Wow! I didn't think this AAAA studio would need help like this. No wonder Drew Murray left to go back to Insomniac.

  • -7
scrapking Blood_Tears (on 24 September 2021)

Insomniac has collaborated with other studios as well. And this is a terrible time for The Coalition because they're retooling all their infrastructure to work under Unreal Engine 5, which is immensely disruptive. And The Coalition is also responsible for the Gears franchise. There are studios that never release games of their own, and instead do nothing but farm themselves out as hired hands to help bigger studios through crunch times, and they're used frequently throughout the industry. So I think your analysis is inappropriately harsh.

  • -2
Blood_Tears scrapking (on 24 September 2021)

You have your studios mixed up.

  • +3
scrapking Blood_Tears (on 24 September 2021)

You're right, I totally do. Thanks. :)

You didn't reply to my primary point, though, which still stands. Insomniac has collaborated with other studios. Most big studios do. So that seems like an inaccurately harsh analysis to damn one studio from doing that, and even cite another studio that has also done that in your criticism.

  • -5
ClassicGamingWizzz (on 25 September 2021)
  • -14