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News Game Dev Design director leaves Xbox studio 'The Initiative'

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mejin

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He got over his brother's death pretty quick eh.

I guess it wasnt about that and he was just done working at that studio. This stuff happens all the time in this industry. A bunch of Sony devs left to work at Initiative and now they are leaving to go back to Sony studios. These guys know what they are worth and switching jobs get them great raises and benefits. There isnt really anything more to it than that.

They could also miss the better enviroment too.
 
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SlimySnake

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With a team like that? He might've been the weak link for all we know.
343i had a lot of big name talent too.

A lot of times, teams with high profile devs dont gel just like how piling on superstars in a sports team isnt always a recipe for success.
 

Papacheeks

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Jan 30, 2013
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With a team like that? He might've been the weak link for all we know.

Or similar to what Jaffe said a while back, too many ego's in one kitchen. Either his work was done, or things are not melding to his liking that he would rather work with people who are all on the same wave length. I mean who knows? 🤷‍♂️
 
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He was brought in to put a talented creative team together, outline the vision for the game which we now know is Perfect Dark, and cultivate the culture of the new studio. Now that the team has been made and development is full speed ahead, his role as leader was no longer as vital. His brother's passing was just a catalyst for his departure.
 
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What's more slimy? Someone mocking people for bringing family deaths into console wars? Or the actual people bringing family tragedies to win console wars?

My comment had nothing to do with console wars. More the fact that you are speculating on the nature of someone’s grief. To suggest his leaving The Initiative means that a game is in trouble - and I’m going to assume you are a Sony fan/Xbox hater, as I’m not totally up on this forum’s cast of characters yet - suggests that the console war aspect of this is all you bud.
 
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skit_data

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It is kind of interesting that he left to go back to back to Insomniac. He was one of the four people featured in the Developer interview video that was part of the Perfect Dark reveal so he is probably to be considered a cornerstone of the games development.
 

ChuckeRearmed

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A bunch of Sony devs left to work at Initiative and now they are leaving to go back to Sony studios.
Who else?

It seems in MS there is issue with directors - they leave too often it seems. Not a good a look.
And these issues with most of the handmade MS studios in comparison to the bought ones.
 
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Clear

Deer/Dur
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The problem with hiring a load of high-profile staff is that every one of them is going to be promised the Earth going in, but you end up with a lot of competing egos and expectations of levels of input that are never going to met in such a corporate environment.
 

ChuckeRearmed

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The problem with hiring a load of high-profile staff is that every one of them is going to be promised the Earth going in, but you end up with a lot of competing egos and expectations of levels of input that are never going to met in such a corporate environment.
It feels like it MS-wide issue - directors leave rather often it seems. And interestingly enough - with MS-made studios.

All in all, bad optics.
 
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Negotiator101

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The problem with hiring a load of high-profile staff is that every one of them is going to be promised the Earth going in, but you end up with a lot of competing egos and expectations of levels of input that are never going to met in such a corporate environment.
You work in game development?
 

Genx3

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It's probably as simple as the Dude leaving to make more money.
Sometimes people over think these things.
 

SlimySnake

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My comment had nothing to do with console wars. More the fact that you are speculating on the nature of someone’s grief. To suggest his leaving The Coalition means that a game is in trouble - and I’m going to assume you are a Sony fan/Xbox hater, as I’m not totally up on this forum’s cast of characters yet - suggests that the console war aspect of this is all you bud.
Once again, I am mocking people who brought up his brother's death to try and baghdad bob this thing. He never said it was about his brother's death. He only said it was for personal reasons. No mention of brother's death anywhere. It was fanboys who went searching through his twitter and used his brother's death to say that was the reason. Sure those are the guys who are speculating on the nature of his grief as you so eloquently put it.

As for the rest of your post. nonsense. The very post you quoted literally says there isnt anything more to it than some guy leaving to get a bigger raise.

He got over his brother's death pretty quick eh.

I guess it wasnt about that and he was just done working at that studio. This stuff happens all the time in this industry. A bunch of Sony devs left to work at Initiative and now they are leaving to go back to Sony studios. These guys know what they are worth and switching jobs get them great raises and benefits. There isnt really anything more to it than that.
Here I literally talk about Sony's San Diego studio which also saw some high profile departures after hiring talent from Rockstar, ND and Insomniac.
well, it seems the poor guy lost his brother. Though, i dont know why he didnt just take bereavement time off. Microsoft is really good with stuff like that. He couldve taken a few weeks off. Who knows. People grief in different ways. I have a feeling that his heart wasnt in it and this was the last straw.

Sony's own san diego studio recently had some high profile departures. I think creating these so-called Avengers studios with AAA talent isnt really the recipe for success. we saw this with 343i. they hired all these big shots but they just couldnt gel as a team. the san diego studio was making some new IP and had talent from rockstar, ND and insomniac and they have pretty much moved on to exploring games based on existing franchises.

That post has also aged well because I was wondering why he wouldnt just take bereavement time off if it was just about the brother's death. Turns out he just wanted a change of scenery.

Maybe you should take off your Sherlock hat and try reading actual posts instead of assuming people are sony fans and xbox haters. You will find that some human beings are capable of having multiple different opinions about both Sony and Microsoft. As you spend more time here, you will find more and more of my posts shitting on Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, how is that going to reconcile with your black and white view of people?
 
Oct 2, 2017
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Thankfully we had gatekeepers to prevent discussion about possible reasons why this dev left the project.

Reported lol
 
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Genx3

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This is a bit strange since Microsoft wages are the best in this sector.
If you know how much he is going to get paid at a Sony 1st party studio go ahead and enlighten us.
Most people go to new jobs because they are going to make significantly more money.
Unless he just wants less responsibility.
 

Bergoglio

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Jan 13, 2018
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If you know how much he is going to get paid at a Sony 1st party studio go ahead and enlighten us.
Most people go to new jobs because they are going to make significantly more money.
Unless he just wants less responsibility.
Considering the new role ... he might also want less responsibility.
 

pasterpl

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Feb 8, 2020
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It feels like it MS-wide issue - directors leave rather often it seems. And interestingly enough - with MS-made studios.

All in all, bad optics.

you mean like;

The Initiative, which is based in Santa Monica, has taken various names of a certain weight: Ian Miller, Kai Zheng, Chris O’Neill, and Ray Yeomans are among the last “purchases” of the company. They are all level designers of God of War, the highly acclaimed PlayStation 4 exclusive from 2018, developed by Santa Monica Studios. In addition, even senior designer Robert Ryan of Naughty Dog has decided to join The Initiative. It could almost be said that Xbox is “stealing” the Sony developers.

or

or

Or

you are right, very bad look for a company not being able to keep talent


just to be clear, this whole post goal was to show you that people moving between companies is something normal and it is not something that weight good or bad on a company
 

skit_data

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Not exactly brilliant games though were they?
Maybe not brilliant, but they all have 80+ metacritic scores and the series seems to have quite a hardcore following considering the hopes of a remastered trilogy keeps popping up pretty much all the time
 

Kadve

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Jun 5, 2019
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If you didn't want drama OP, you should have put "after the death of his brother" in the title. Makes it less clickbaity.

Hopefully he can land on his feet though.
 

Clear

Deer/Dur
Feb 2, 2009
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From Design Director to principal designer?

Its not unusual to be hired into a position, and get paid for it but not actually have the responsibility if the management feels that have a better fit in place or lined up for it. Which seems like a win, but the reality is that career progression in the business goes hand-in-hand with credit on product, not the role you have at the studio generally.

So its entirely possible that he could have found himself in a position where after 3 years or however long the dev-cycle is on the project with only a senior designer credit.

Most people outside the industry have no idea of the way these things work, the Amy Hennig thing where the public narrative became "she was pushed out by Druckman" being a classic case in point. Amy most likely just found herself sidelined because Druckman was riding high on the success of TLOU and the upper management and Sony brass most likely were just pushing for him to be given control on UC4 because he was on a hot-streak.

There's no denying that there's an almost superstitious belief in success attracting success in the business, its just a fact of life especially on very expensive and high-profile projects.
 

Stuart360

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Sep 9, 2018
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lol spend 5mins reading this thread, then go read the 'devs leaving Sony Bend Studio' thread.
Never change Gaf.
 

ChuckeRearmed

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Jan 31, 2018
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you mean like;



or

or

Or

you are right, very bad look for a company not being able to keep talent


just to be clear, this whole post goal was to show you that people moving between companies is something normal and it is not something that weight good or bad on a company
Well the difference in that Xbox loses "heads" and "devs" before the games are even delivered.
 
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