• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

IGN: Microsoft putting together a "AAAA" game studio

GamerEDM

Member
Dec 28, 2018
905
2,332
575

Microsoft's Mysterious Initiative Studio Hires Crystal Dynamics, Bungie Alumni
Initial D.
Microsoft has tapped top talent from Bungie and Crystal Dynamics to join its mysterious 'AAAA' studio, The Initiative.


Among the 16 new hires revealed on LinkedIn by studio head Darrell Gallagher, we can see that Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Marvel's Avengers director Remi Lacoste has made the jump to The Initiative to work as an Experiental Director. Destiny 2 narrative lead Christine Thompson has also joined the studio in a lead writer position.

We're yet to learn what the studio is working on, with our latest clue arriving from Xbox head Phil Spencer, who revealed The Initiative is "challenging themselves to do new things (and old things) in new ways,", whatever that means.Microsoft revealed it had founded The Initiative in Santa Monica as part of its E3 2018 conference, where it announced a slew of acquisitions. The studio is being led by Darrell Gallagher, who previously worked at Rockstar Games, Crystal Dynamics and later Activision, overseeing the development of games like GTA IV, Tomb Raider and Destiny 2. At the time, Spencer touted Gallagher's abilities, calling him a "visionary storyteller."

According to Santa Monica job listings found on the Microsoft website later that year, the studio was calling for experience in "shipping high quality titles at AAAA standards" and a "knowledge and understanding of the process of building new IP." The studio went on to hire God of War lead producer Brian Westergaard and Christian Cantamessa, who was the lead writer on Red Dead Redemption. The 'AAAA' studio then picked up Sunset Overdrive director Drew Murray.

Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.


 
Last edited:

THEAP99

reposts tweets from kids about console wars
Mar 16, 2020
3,911
10,239
710
Pretty much the only studio i care about or am interested in over at Microsoft. Let's hope they're not overselling themselves.
 
Jan 29, 2019
5,969
6,490
495
So 3 years down the line we might get something ?
A preview at best a gameplay reveal (given how much they supposedly spent on Halo infinite I would not hold my breath).

MS is pretty good at reveals, so wait until next next gen to see their output, especially if the game needs to be delayed.
 
Last edited:

Arun1910

Member
Sep 11, 2013
1,877
2,588
680
Hopefully this AAAA stuff will be on par with Sony AAA titles. Really want to see some solid titles from Microsoft in the future. Gears/Halo/Forza don't do it for me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gamerasi and keram

Entroyp

Gold Member
Jul 28, 2017
4,407
11,973
650
Bigger and more expensive than AAA? Is AAAA a new term or did I miss something?
 

longdi

Ni hao ma, fellow kids?
Jun 7, 2004
8,622
6,201
1,890

Microsoft's Mysterious Initiative Studio Hires Crystal Dynamics, Bungie Alumni
Initial D.
Microsoft has tapped top talent from Bungie and Crystal Dynamics to join its mysterious 'AAAA' studio, The Initiative.


Among the 16 new hires revealed on LinkedIn by studio head Darrell Gallagher, we can see that Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Marvel's Avengers director Remi Lacoste has made the jump to The Initiative to work as an Experiental Director. Destiny 2 narrative lead Christine Thompson has also joined the studio in a lead writer position.

We're yet to learn what the studio is working on, with our latest clue arriving from Xbox head Phil Spencer, who revealed The Initiative is "challenging themselves to do new things (and old things) in new ways,", whatever that means.Microsoft revealed it had founded The Initiative in Santa Monica as part of its E3 2018 conference, where it announced a slew of acquisitions. The studio is being led by Darrell Gallagher, who previously worked at Rockstar Games, Crystal Dynamics and later Activision, overseeing the development of games like GTA IV, Tomb Raider and Destiny 2. At the time, Spencer touted Gallagher's abilities, calling him a "visionary storyteller."

According to Santa Monica job listings found on the Microsoft website later that year, the studio was calling for experience in "shipping high quality titles at AAAA standards" and a "knowledge and understanding of the process of building new IP." The studio went on to hire God of War lead producer Brian Westergaard and Christian Cantamessa, who was the lead writer on Red Dead Redemption. The 'AAAA' studio then picked up Sunset Overdrive director Drew Murray.

Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.

Phil undoing the barren years of Matrick
He has to start, and start he did in 2018.
Give them some time, impressive cast he has poached! :messenger_bicep:
 

Kuranghi

Member
Apr 17, 2015
4,681
8,293
780
Is "story" and "narrative" really where they are falling short though?

I feel like they're looking at God of War, Horizon, Uncharted 4 and Ghost of Tsushima and thinking "oh the reason people love these games so much is because of the strong story and characters" and obviously thats a big part of it, but if those games were exactly the same but with shit gameplay/scenarios I don't think they would nearly as popular.

I think the games that they've championed that are/were exclusives generally have awesome gameplay - Forza Horizon, Ori and Sunset Overdrive - so its strange to me that they don't focus more on that rather than story or narrative.

Its like telling a movie studio that their CGI was shit and they should improve on it and they go and hire like 10 more writers 🤷‍♂️
 

LarknThe4th

Member
May 19, 2020
1,241
1,204
465
We will see what happens, I'm still hopeful though, cause like who cares of they balls it up anyway that's why we should all wait a few years before jumping into a consoles eco system
 

INCUBASE

Member
Jan 8, 2018
6,672
13,488
720
After seeing what's possible after 100's of millions of $$$ and 5 years

U can't wait to see........the next wave of memes

Seriously ms just needs to stfu and post results instead fo gaslighting, but in the trump era, people seem to love hearing bullshit and swallowing it
 
Apr 19, 2019
9,171
15,123
780
Away with the fairies
Phil undoing the barren years of Matrick
He has to start, and start he did in 2018.
Give them some time, impressive cast he has poached! :messenger_bicep:
Your trolling, shilling or point of view, whichever one of those three it is, is extremely tiring to hear.

As an xbox fan, i want your arsehole to grow tastebuds for how you and your ilk continually 'big-up' the lacklustre and abysmal output from Microsoft.

Show me a list of all the games released for the past 10 years on Xbone and 360. 1st and 2nd parties and 3rd party exclusives. Then do the same for the previous ten years.

You'll see how pathetic and mindless your posts really are.

Unless you're a double-agent; hyping up microsoft while working for their competition? Like how non-Man U fans cheer for OGS to keep on as the manager.
 

Starfield

Member
Aug 13, 2015
5,070
6,869
915
the biggest and best AAAA GaaS game you could ever imagine.

Longterm microtransaction strategies are already in the making as we speak.
 
  • Like
Reactions: keram

SoraNoKuni

Member
Jun 14, 2015
573
583
515
26
Hollow Bastion(Greece)
I can't even, they continue the exact marketing that let down all of us, even fans of opposing brands.
This is ridiculous, AAAA? Really?
I Hope their userbase slaps them in the face so they'll learn to be humble and actually deliver.

I am really sick of any MS news at this moment and I swear I was cheering for the MS July show to be the best show ever made so Sony can have some competition.
 

BlueXImpulse

Banned
Jul 10, 2020
2,572
15,218
540
If AAAA is determined by budget, then how much are they putting into this project? If AAAA is determined by success then how can you begin to predict where this project will end up when AAAA games are extremely rare to come across in the first place. I don't even think Sony has an exclusive AAAA game. An AAAA game is Grand Theft Auto if the primary measure is finances/budget or Pokemon if we're talking about success/sales primarily.
 
Last edited:
Aug 28, 2019
7,017
13,284
530
Has anyone at MS actually said this "AAAA" thing besides that job ad that started it all? lol, honest question

I can't even, they continue the exact marketing that let down all of us, even fans of opposing brands.
This is ridiculous, AAAA? Really?
I Hope their userbase slaps them in the face so they'll learn to be humble and actually deliver.

I am really sick of any MS news at this moment and I swear I was cheering for the MS July show to be the best show ever made so Sony can have some competition.

This is IGN repeating the "AAAA" thing they saw in a job ad for The Initiative years ago as far as I can tell.. no one at MS, outside of whomever wrote the text for that job ad years ago uses AAAA as far as I can tell.
 
Last edited:

Drewpee

Member
Apr 15, 2018
515
728
365

Microsoft's Mysterious Initiative Studio Hires Crystal Dynamics, Bungie Alumni
Initial D.
Microsoft has tapped top talent from Bungie and Crystal Dynamics to join its mysterious 'AAAA' studio, The Initiative.


Among the 16 new hires revealed on LinkedIn by studio head Darrell Gallagher, we can see that Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Marvel's Avengers director Remi Lacoste has made the jump to The Initiative to work as an Experiental Director. Destiny 2 narrative lead Christine Thompson has also joined the studio in a lead writer position.

We're yet to learn what the studio is working on, with our latest clue arriving from Xbox head Phil Spencer, who revealed The Initiative is "challenging themselves to do new things (and old things) in new ways,", whatever that means.Microsoft revealed it had founded The Initiative in Santa Monica as part of its E3 2018 conference, where it announced a slew of acquisitions. The studio is being led by Darrell Gallagher, who previously worked at Rockstar Games, Crystal Dynamics and later Activision, overseeing the development of games like GTA IV, Tomb Raider and Destiny 2. At the time, Spencer touted Gallagher's abilities, calling him a "visionary storyteller."

According to Santa Monica job listings found on the Microsoft website later that year, the studio was calling for experience in "shipping high quality titles at AAAA standards" and a "knowledge and understanding of the process of building new IP." The studio went on to hire God of War lead producer Brian Westergaard and Christian Cantamessa, who was the lead writer on Red Dead Redemption. The 'AAAA' studio then picked up Sunset Overdrive director Drew Murray.




Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.

This is always great but I think using terms like "AAAA" is setting then up for failure right away. They are already setting the expectations extremely high and the studio isn't even put together yet.

For example, whatever comes from The Initiative will not meet the hype already surrounding it. Not because they are going to be a bad studio(I think they are going to be amazing), but because the hype train is already full speed ahead and they don't even have a game announced yet.
 
Last edited:

longdi

Ni hao ma, fellow kids?
Jun 7, 2004
8,622
6,201
1,890
Your trolling, shilling or point of view, whichever one of those three it is, is extremely tiring to hear.

As an xbox fan, i want your arsehole to grow tastebuds for how you and your ilk continually 'big-up' the lacklustre and abysmal output from Microsoft.

Show me a list of all the games released for the past 10 years on Xbone and 360. 1st and 2nd parties and 3rd party exclusives. Then do the same for the previous ten years.

You'll see how pathetic and mindless your posts really are.

Unless you're a double-agent; hyping up microsoft while working for their competition? Like how non-Man U fans cheer for OGS to keep on as the manager.

Chill bro, Xbone definitely had a problem.
Imo 360 was fine vs PS3. 360 fell off at the tail end thanks to Matrick going all in with non-gamer motion sensing jazz, and that is how Xbone became Xbone....