The Initiative Signs Two More Naughty Dog Members


The secret Xbox studio takes over the main people in charge of the animations of The Last of Us 2, who had been in the studio since Uncharted 2.

The Initiative continues to hunt for talent. The latest to join Microsoft’s secret studio have been Lee Davis and Lauren Garcia, both members of Naughty Dog until a matter of weeks ago. The first, Davis, is primarily responsible for the combat animations of Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 4, as well as those we saw in The Last of Us, both in the original and in its recent sequel, acclaimed among many other things precisely for that, its system of animations. For his part, García has been technical director of shading, although in his case he has only been collaborating with Naughty Dog since The Last of Us: Part 2. The news of his transfer, which has been made known thanks to the Linkedin of both, has It has been accompanied by statements from Lauren García on her social networks, where she assures that The Initiative is working on something “truly special.”

What is The Initiative doing?

It is the big question that circulates around Xbox Game Studios. Apart from the studios that recently arrived with the purchase of Bethesda, most of the members of Microsoft’s first party team have already announced what they are working on, such as Playground Games and Fable, Obsidian and Avowed, or Undead Labs and State of Decay 3. However, The Initiative remains in absolute silence, even with rumors that link them to Perfect Dark floating in the air. We know that the developer already has a playable prototype of its first game and, in the words of Matt Booty, head of Microsoft Studios, it will be shown before the end of 2020, but time is on its way and we still don’t know anything about it . Well, nothing apart from the all-stars team that seems to be assembling to pull it off.

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Who else is on the team?

Star hoarding comes a long way. The Initiative has been recruiting talent for a couple of years and has among its members names such as Darrell Gallagher, responsible for the rebirth of Tomb Raider; Brian Westergaard, producer of the latest God of War; Christian Cantamessa and Tom Sheperd, from Rockstar Games; Daniel Neuburger of Crystal Dynamics; or Blake Fischer, a Microsoft youth squad. For Booty, the company encompasses all kinds of “top names and talents from the most respected developers” in the industry. Will they live up to the expectations generated?


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