The Initiative
IndustryVideo games
FoundedJune 2018; 4 years ago (June 2018)
FounderDarrell Gallagher
Key people
ProductsPerfect Dark
Number of employees
56[1] (2022)
ParentXbox Game Studios

The Initiative is an American video game development company based in Santa Monica, California. As a division of Xbox Game Studios, the company was founded in 2018 to build AAA games for the Xbox consoles and Windows. The company is now working on a new installment in the Perfect Dark series.


At E3 2018, Head of Xbox Game Studios announced the formation of The Initiative, a new internal video game development company led by Darrell Gallagher, who had previously served as studio head of Crystal Dynamics.[2] It is the first Microsoft game development studio in Santa Monica.[3] The studio's goal was to create and produce big-budget titles. In addition to Gallagher, the studio recruited several game veterans, including Christian Cantamessa (writer of Red Dead Redemption) and Brian Westergaard (senior producer of 2018's God of War), as well as talents from BioWare, Naughty Dog, Respawn Entertainment, Santa Monica Studio, Blizzard Entertainment, Insomniac Games and Rockstar Games.[4][5][6][7]

At The Game Awards 2020, it was revealed that the studio is working on a Perfect Dark reboot.[8]


  1. ^ Lopez, Ule (September 24, 2021). "Perfect Dark Reboot will be a Collaborative Effort Between The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics". Wccftech. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  2. ^ Grant, Christopher (June 10, 2018). "Microsoft has five (!) new internal studios". Polygon. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  3. ^ Takahashi, Dean (June 16, 2018). "How Darrell Gallagher plans to build Microsoft's The Initiative studio in Santa Monica". VentureBeat. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  4. ^ Robinson, Andy (August 12, 2020). "Xbox's new studio signs yet more experience from Respawn, BioWare". Video Games Chronicles. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  5. ^ Parijat, Shubhankar (May 12, 2020). "The Initiative Recruits Former Naughty Dog, Rockstar Programmer". GamingBolt. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  6. ^ Robinson, Andy (July 23, 2019). "Xbox studio hires group of God of War designers". Video Games Chronicles. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  7. ^ Robinson, Andy (December 12, 2020). "Analysis: Who's working on the new Perfect Dark?". Video Games Chronicles. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  8. ^ Conditt, Jessica (December 12, 2020). "Xbox studio The Initiative is working on 'Perfect Dark'". Engadget. Retrieved December 12, 2020.