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Microsoft's The Initiative hires two former Naughty Dog employees

The Hamburglar

but get my takes from clown world with Ronald
Mar 6, 2016
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They certainly took the initiative there with this hiring. Can't wait to see the quadruple AAAA game that's coming. I am Xcited.
 

kretos

Gold Member
Oct 2, 2019
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"You people", lol. You should get to know who you're talking to. It wont be as embarassing in threads like this. Or you can make assumptions and still remind us all of that little girl who stamps her feet and think she knows best. You're too far gone in the head mate, you see xbox fans more than alex jones sees chem trails.

Anyway as youve completely.made a tit of yourself with your assumptions and it's public to everyone I can leave you with this



Some people share news because GAF is known for news and we want GAF to be the place for this kind of stuff. Even if it hurts your feelings my little purple haired face picker.

 
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Whitecrow

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May 7, 2018
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People change jobs. What's so special about this.
If you think this doesnt have anything to do with ND being a shitty company, well, you are wrong.

SOmetimes people change jobs because somehting doesnt fit their needs, but sometimes they change jobs because they are treatd like shit.
 
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CAB_Life

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christianadrianbrown.com
I see this has turned into a “you people” thread. Next six weeks here should pretty much mirror the ‘stability’ of the US election. Although it was worth popping into the thread for the Senua Senua meme alone.

I don’t know why so many of you are mortified of the thought of potentially good games with strong development teams being made. If you‘re a brand loyalist, you can always play them on your PC or even phone.
 
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Tekkie

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May 18, 2013
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MS is really aggressive this gen, this looks a bit like they're headhunting these talents from ND/Sony specifically, but maybe it's just that they're available or something. At any rate, don't think we'll see much the first two years but once that train starts going, I'm not sure there's any stopping it.
 
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mckmas8808

Ah. Peace and quiet. #ADayWithoutAWoman
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MS is really aggressive this gen, this looks a bit like they're headhunting these talents from ND/Sony specifically, but maybe it's just that they're available or something. At any rate, don't think we'll see much the first two years but once that train starts going, I'm not sure there's any stopping it.

MS has to execute properly though. They have everything lined up for a good Holiday 2022 season though.
 
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GrayFoxPL

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Can they also take the director, character designers and story writers from TLOU2? No charge. Hell, we'll pay MS.

It's a good deal. I promise!!

 
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Clear

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Its not "news". Very few people stay that long at ND. The studio is based on a culture that they pay good, most likely treat people real nice, but you are expected to work real fucking hard. That's the "secret".

The premise for the employee is simple: If you got an offer to join you are obviously very good at what you do, and here's a chance to get a real mega-high profile AAA credit on resume.

Here's the rub: From what I hear crunch isn't constant, but you are expected to work hard to keep up. However when deadlines loom at the end of a project, you will be expected to crunch hard for a few solid months. Its exhausting, but its the way the studio maintains its rep for quality.

So, upshot is many people stay for a project, maybe 2, then move on to reap the career rewards of their labor. The plain truth is that you really can't do much better than have a Uncharted/TLOU on your list of shipped titles -its almost certainly going to be a career-high in terms of prestige. So there's a strong incentive to stick it out (til ship) if you possibly can.

Rockstar North has a similar rep in the UK. Its the nature of the beast, and it works because once a studio has a certain amount of prestige there's never going to be a shortage of skilled applicants.
 
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Dolomite

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May 14, 2020
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I love these clickbait news stories.

Reality check: Developers are not owned by companies and flow endlessly between companies. Like when the talent from the newly acquired MS studios runs out like rats off a sinking ship.

Except that the Zenimax acquisition includes the more than 2300 devs. The terms of contract also provides that the management structure remain pretty much as it was before the merger.
 
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Ozzy Onya A2Z

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Wasn't there some speculation from the latest Xbox video The Initiative is working on a space RPG type game? It had 4 screenshots ripped, not sure how accurate it was.

I could go a Joanna Dark game but I'd probably prefer something fresh from this studio.
 
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ZZZZ

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Jun 7, 2020
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So................is Naughty Dog hiring people in their place? You never hear them hiring anybody. Just people leaving lol.
They are always hiring, 2000 people worked on TLOU2, a record breaking number, just happens so often that it's not news worthy.
It's the power of having an endless budget.
 
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El Pistolero

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Then why are you in this thread ?😂😂
You came in to tell folks to stop being excited because you don't care🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️😂😂

You are excited about a few ND guys going over to another studio? I imagine that you have a ND shrine at home with pictures of their employees, given your level of enthusiasm?
Again, why would you care who works where? Those should be anonymous dudes and dudettes, as they come and go for the most part, and use tools and techniques created and perfected by a million of fingertips, not only theirs. Your attitude only reinforces my suspicion that you have been a Xbox fanboy deeply and secretly in love with the PS studios for a long time, and the only way to express that without taking off your green shirt is to do a little dance every time John from SSM Animation or Suzy that used to work on the sound mixing at Media Molecule transfers to a MS owned studio.

 
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Dolomite

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You are excited about a few ND guys going over to another studio? I imagine that you have a ND shrine at home with pictures of their employees, given your level of enthusiasm?
Again, why would you care who works where? Those should be anonymous dudes and dudettes, as they come and go for the most part, and use tools and techniques created and perfected by a million of fingertips, not only theirs. Your attitude only reinforces my suspicion that you have been a Xbox fanboy deeply and secretly in love with the PS studios for a long time, and the only way to express that without taking off your green shirt is to do a little dance every time John from SSM Animation or Suzy that used to work on the sound mixing at Media Molecule transfers to a MS owned studio.

That's.... alot my guy,
So much projection 😂😂
I'm excited to see what the Initiative is cooking up and every new lead that joins the studio makes it realer. The fact that senior devs from proven projects like GTA, RED DEAD and GOW are spearheading thier own teams for whatever project is so important that MS is feeding$$ like it's thier first born is worth some hype. ...or you know, press the ignore button on the thread title
 
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Jan 21, 2019
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Xbox fans are hoping it means Naughty Dog will now suck and the Initiative will be good
I think it's more along the lines of Xbox fans knowing how well these guys did in respect to the games they helped create and are excited to see their talents on the green side.
 

lock2k

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Jun 13, 2018
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MS wants to perfect their doggy style with a monstrosity scene for their next cinematic game. lol
 

Kumomeme

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cant buy naughty dog on wednesday but atleast managed to snatch their staff!

joking aside, this is good assemble of team. hopefully it would bear fruit assuming ms will steer their new warship properly. project seems still very far off so dont expect something soon. also this is new studio so dont expect instant success or whatsoever. the team will take time to 'mature'.
 

ZehDon

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Jun 13, 2013
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People change jobs. What's so special about this.
From my perspective, it's interesting for two reasons. The talent they've poached were leads in their fields at Naughty Dog, considered a top-tier development house. Once you reach a lead position in development, you're moving houses to follow the money or the project. This means that Microsoft are investing heavily in their new stuido, or, the project is super exciting - or both. The second reason is the specific fields that these two people specalise in. When Corrinne Yu moved over to working on 343i's engine for Halo 4, that was exciting because of her expertise in the field - 343i weren't fucking about when they brought in that level of talent, and Halo 4 ended up as one of the best looking Xbox 360 games. If Microsoft are bringing in animation and shader leads who've overseen the production of some of the best resulting animations and character shaders the industry has ever seen, we're potentially in for a real treat on those fronts.
 
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brokenduck

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Seems good hires, the workers are on technical side of things like melee combat animation. As long as they avoid those naughty dog’s character designers and writers, should be fine.
 

oldergamer

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I honestly hate these threads about x person hired at company Y like anyone on this forum knows the how much those people were involved with previous successful games.

MS simply wanted to start a studio where they could draw from a pool of talent in both games and movies to create AAA games that are story driven while building on the best tech available. We already saw how close to movie quality unreal 5 can get, and they intend to push things.

Im excited to see more of what they are making.
 

GymWolf

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Jun 11, 2019
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Good job on taking the guy who is responsible for melee animations in tlou2.
 
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ksdixon

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Jul 31, 2010
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Source: https://www.ign.com/articles/microsoft-the-initiative-new-staff-naughty-dog

Microsoft’s secretive AAA studio, The Initiative, has added more former Sony first-party studio employees to its ranks. This time the new employees are an ex-Naughty Dog animator who worked on the Uncharted series and both The Last of Us games, plus one of Naughty Dog’s former technical directors.

Lee Davis, formerly Naughty Dog’s Head of Melee Animation, has been appointed as The Initiative’s Lead Gameplay Animator. Lauren Garcia, who was previously Naughty Dog’s Character Shading Technical Director, is now Senior Shading Technologies.

Both Davis and Garcia worked on The Last of Us: Part 2, which was critically acclaimed for both its animation and the visual fidelity of its characters. Davis also worked on Uncharted 2, Uncharted 4, and the original The Last of Us.

Davis and Garcia are the latest additions to The Initiative, and not the first from a major Sony studio; back in 2018 the developer hired former God of War producer Brian Westergaard. Alongside these ex-Sony developers are staff who previously worked at Crystal Dynamics and Bungie. These latest hires point to The Initiative potentially looking to replicate the high standards of animation found in Naughty Dog’s games.


Quite a pool of talent getting assembled there. Will be interesting when they finally reveal what they are working on.

so the talent leaves, and all we'll be left with is Neil's crappy fan-fiction. TLOU is basically dead at this point. I'm just hoping that the MP game still come's out
 

VFXVeteran

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Nov 5, 2019
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I didn't want to say anything about this but my friend that worked at ND is one of those guys. He's so happy to not be under crunch for over a year anymore. He's also excited to lend his helping hand to MS.
 
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The Alien

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Feb 10, 2018
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Can't wait to hear about the anonymous reports of toxic culture at this studio. Get to it Kotaku.
To be fair....if you're "woke" enough and looking pretty hard, you can be triggered by just about anything.

Matter of fact, I didn't like your tone at the end. Were you using your male privilege to command Kotaku?
 

01011001

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Dec 4, 2018
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Xbox fans are hoping it means Naughty Dog will now suck and the Initiative will be good

that's already the case and has been since the PS3 era.
honestly, NG staff going to another studio can be a very bad influence... but it's only guys that worked on technical stuff not Gamedesign, so I guess the Initiative will be ok for now
 
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Croatoan

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Jun 24, 2014
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Xbox fans are hoping it means Naughty Dog will now suck and the Initiative will be good
Adding Naughty Dog employees is a negative thing. Everyone that works for that company is indoctrinated in the Cult of Socjus.