Microsoft’s The Initiative hires Red Dead Redemption, Tomb Raider, and God of War developers

By Stephany Nunneley, Tuesday, 14 August 2018 21:34 GMT

Microsoft’s new Santa Monica-based studio, The Initiative, has been on a hiring spree and those who’ve come on board have impressive resumes.

The Initiative was announced by Microsoft during E3 2018 as a new studio based in Santa Monica. Studio head Darrell Gallagher announced on Friday a slew of new hires.

Gallagher originally posted the news on LinkedIn, and it was picked up by resetera before being taken down. On Saturday, Gallagher shared the news once again via a write up by Remote Play.

In case you are unaware, Gallagher is a veteran of Activision, Crystal Dynamics, Sony, Square Enix, and THQ.

That’s the history lesson on the news, now let’s get to the list of talent hired so far.

  • Blake Fischer: senior director of portfolio and planning at Microsoft
  • Brian Westergaard: God of War’s senior managing producer, lead and senior producer for Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Christian Cantamessa: Red Dead Redemption and Shadow of Mordor lead writer and designer
  • Daniel Neuburger: Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider co-director

Two recruiters were also hired: Annie Lohr, formerly of Respawn, Riot Games, and Microsoft Studios; and Lindsey McQueeney whi was previously lead recruiter for Crystal Dynamics and Microsoft (thanks, GI.biz).

Along with The Initiative, Microsoft announced during E3 it had acquired We Happy Few developer Compulsion Games, Ninja Theory, Playground Games, and Undead Labs.

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