Perfect Dark – Xbox Game Studios Head Addresses Rumors of Troubled Development

Microsoft's Matt Booty also discusses protagonist Joanna Dark being brought forward into the modern age "in the right way."

Posted By | On 05th, Sep. 2022

perfect dark

Of the many games that Xbox Game Studios has in development without release dates is Perfect Dark. It’s developed by The Initiative, as a reboot of the classic shooter franchise. However, the announcement was followed by the departure of its design director. Numerous other departures followed later, including game director Dan Neuburger, apparently due to disagreements over the studio’s structure.

The Initiative is working with Crystal Dynamics, a partnership which will continue despite the latter being acquired by The Embracer Group. Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty recently spoke at PAX West 2022 regarding the collaboration and refuted rumors of development issues. “How we make games is evolving. The idea of a single team under one roof doesn’t happen all that often anymore.

“Our Perfect Dark team down in Santa Monica… So we just did this big partnership with Crystal Dynamics. And I read online like, ‘Oh, this must mean there’s a problem or something.’ It’s quite the opposite. You’ve got this veteran team at Crystal Dynamics, a big triple-A 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.” Booty also provided examples of titles like Age of Empires 4 and Microsoft Flight Simulator developed in collaboration with studios like Relic Entertainment and Asobo.

As for how one goes about rebooting Joanna Dark for the modern age, Booty said, “Very carefully.” “Those things don’t always age well, and I think what’s super cool about Perfect Dark – what’s super cool about Joanna Dark – is the super agent fantasy. Sort of Bourne Identity, James Bond, kind of thing. That’s a cool meme that people want to lean into, but again, we’ve gotta make sure that comes forward in the right way.”

Perfect Dark doesn’t have a release date but it’s in development for Xbox Series X/S and PC, along with launching on Game Pass. No gameplay has been showcased thus far either, so we’ll need to wait for more details. Stay tuned in the meantime.

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