A recent update from Xbox Game Studios and developer The Initiative in regards to the studio's upcoming project, Perfect Dark, could be a cause for concern. Within the past day, Xbox Game Studios revealed that The Initiative would now be working alongside Square Enix studio Crystal Dynamics as it moves forward with its development of Perfect Dark. And while this might only seem like a good thing when taking the announcement at face value, it does signal that perhaps development on Perfect Dark had been troubled internally.
What makes this move from The Initiative and Xbox with Perfect Dark somewhat odd is that The Initiative itself has previously been described as a "AAAA" studio. This is a (largely nonsensical) term that indicates that the games that The Initiative will be working on are going to be massive in scope and will have quite a bit of money poured into them. Basically, The Initiative is meant to be Xbox's response to studios like Naughty Dog or Santa Monica Studio. As such, to see that the studio hasn't even shipped a single game up until this point and it's already folding in Crystal Dynamics to help with Perfect Dark doesn't make a whole lot of sense given what we have been told in the past.
Perfect Dark update! 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. pic.twitter.com/EiqjU99wMa— TheInitiative (@TheInitiative) September 24, 2021
Perhaps the biggest point of confusion in all of this, at least for me, comes with the work that The Initiative has been doing over the past few years. For those that don't remember, Xbox founded the studio back in 2018. Since that time, The Initiative has made clear that it was going to take some time to build its staff out before it would then begin work on its first project. Nearly three and a half years later, though, The Initiative continues to stress that work on Perfect Dark is still "early in development". Not only is it weird for the studio to continue to state that the game isn't very far along at this point, but for it now to fold in another outside entity to work on the title seems to suggest that
Again, perhaps this whole situation with Perfect Dark could wind up being a whole lot of nothing. After all, a number of different studios around the globe often collaborate in some capacity on large AAA projects. Still, to see that Crystal Dynamics is the company that The Initiative will now be working alongside is strange, especially since Xbox Game Studios has so many internal developers that could have likely assisted on the game. We'll have to wait and see how this all turns out when Perfect Dark ends up releasing on Xbox Series X and PC platforms at an undetermined point in the future.
So what do you think about this situation? Do you find it peculiar that The Initiative and Xbox are bringing in outside help to work on Perfect Dark? Or will it only make the final product that much better? Let me know what your takeaway is from all of this either down in the comments or over on Twitter at @MooreMan12.