Perfect Dark Studio The Initiative Teaming Up With Crystal Dynamics Isn't a Sign That There's 'A Problem', Xbox's Matt Booty

Perfect Dark Studio The Initiative Teaming Up With Crystal Dynamics Isn't a Sign That There's 'A Problem', Xbox's Matt Booty Assures

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Richard Walker

Last year, Tomb Raider and Marvel's Avengers developer Crystal Dynamics was brought in to work alongside The Initiative on Xbox Studios' Perfect Dark reboot, which, following the departure of co-founder Drew Murray, made it seem like the project was potentially in trouble.

However, Xbox Studios boss Matt Booty has assured that The Initiative enlisting the help of Crystal Dynamics isn't indicative of “a problem” with development, but rather, simply how large-scale AAA projects are currently made. According to Booty, the days of a single studio making an ambitious game like Perfect Dark, are “long gone”.

“How we make games is evolving,” Booty commented during a Q&A at PAX West (via VGC). “The idea of a single team under one roof really doesn’t happen that often anymore. I’ll use an example – our Perfect Dark team down in Santa Monica, The Initiative… So, we just did this big partnership with Crystal Dynamics, and I read online, ‘oh, this must mean there’s a problem or something’ – it’s quite the opposite, right?"

He continued: "You’ve got this veteran team at Crystal Dynamics, a big AAA team with over 100 people that becomes available. Of course we want to work with them, particularly if they’ve made a game like that before. And that’s how we’ve done an awful lot of work. If you think about Age of Empires 4 which just launched last fall, that was made in partnership with Relic Studios up in Vancouver, great partnership. And even something like Flight Simulator, we worked with a studio in France called Asobo.

“And that kind of co-development, when you’re working out with people like Certain Affinity, Iron Galaxy, Blackbird [Interactive], all those studios are so key to the products that we make," Booty added. “That, though, also adds some complexity where if one of those studios has problems it then impacts the schedule.”

Booty concluded that “the days are gone when you can sort of go ‘everybody, round up the team in the cafeteria, I want to tell everybody to work harder this Wednesday.’ That’s long gone, it’s gotten a lot more complicated than that.”

Rumours of “fast and furious” departures at The Initiative, as well as the departure of the game's director, certainly haven't helped allay fears that work on Perfect Dark might be floundering, and a lack of meaningful updates on the game since it was first announced in 2020, have only led to further speculation regarding the project's status.

Here's hoping we hear something more substantial on The Initiative's Perfect Dark reboot sooner rather than later.

Comments
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  • Good article. I am hoping that this game eventually sees the light of day and is a solid game. I would love for that to be true, but I do not have the highest of hopes.
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