'God of War' Level Designer Joins Microsoft's The Initiative Studio

Microsoft hasn’t revealed what its various acquired studios are up to yet, including the likes [...]

Microsoft hasn't revealed what its various acquired studios are up to yet, including the likes of Ninja Theory and Obsidian Entertainment. But that isn't stopping fans from talking- and one particular studio, The Initiative, is building up a lot to discuss.

God of War

The studio has announced another power player joining their ranks, in the form of senior staff level designer Chris O'Neill. He previously worked on Sony's hit God of War game from last year. He's the latest member of the development team to join up with Microsoft's newest studio, following Brian Westergaard joining last August.

Microsoft confirmed the formation of this developer during its E3 press conference last year, featuring a number of former team members from Naughty Dog, Rockstar Games, Crystal Dynamics and other prolific studios. And now, with two God of War makers in their fold, they've got even more talent than ever.

The team hasn't announced just what it's working on next, but Darrell Gallagher, who serves as studio head for The Initiative, said last year that its goal is built around making games that push "storytelling, world-building and creative exploration."

"The foundation we have in place for The Initiative is unique in many ways. We've been given the freedom to explore, try new things and operate like an independent studio, with the backing from one of the biggest companies in the world to do something bold and different. The industry is headed in an exciting direction, and we see an opportunity to create amazing new game experiences of the future. Our immediate focus is expanding our team to bring that vision to life, and we are incredibly excited for what the future holds for The Initiative," he explained.

O'Neill updated his Linkedin to confirm the move over to Microsoft's camp, though it's unknown if his departure will affect future chapters in the God of War series, which are reportedly being worked on at the moment. We'll let you know if we hear anything further on the team.

He brings a lot of experience to the table, including work on games like God of War III and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. We wish him the best of luck in the new role.

We'll see what The Initiative has planned in the months ahead, if it has anything to announce at E3.