Microsoft adds more talent to its secret development studio, The Initiative. The developer has been on a hiring spree for some time, having hired several developers who'd worked on Red Dead Redemption, God of War, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Updates to professional profiles on LinkedIn have revealed that Microsoft's video game supergroup has added four more developers to the team. The new hires are Sean Slayback, who has worked on Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Ryan Duffin who has worked on Anthem as well as several Battlefield games, Justin Walters who worked on Star Wars Battlefront 2, and Ryan Trowbridge who worked on Days Gone and on every Naughty Dog game from Uncharted: Drake's Fortune to Uncharted: A Thief's End.
All four of these new hires have worked on a first or third-person shooter game and all of these games have some sort of multiplayer gameplay too. However, it's probably too early to say what The Initiative is working on as it has also hired a developer who has worked on The Last of Us Part Two. Other developers on the team also have experience developing RPGs, leaving it in the air.
Whatever The Initiative is working on, it will likely be a while until fans get to see it. Having teased Project Scarlett at E3 2019, fans know that Microsoft is gearing up for its next-generation Xbox console in a big way. Offering far higher technical specs than the Xbox One X, The Initiative team will be using that as the foundation for what it's making. Project Scarlett has one confirmed launch title, Halo Infinite, and The Initiative's project may be planned as a launch game alongside it.
This also means that, until Microsoft is ready to fully unveil the next Xbox, The Initiative's work will likely be kept under wraps. The best estimate for a reveal, though, is E3 2020. The annual industry event is followed by millions of people and would be the best way for Microsoft to get as many eyes on the game(s) and the console as possible. Until then though, the list of hires does look exciting.