Xbox’s The Initiative promises to “push boundaries”, “challenge convention”, make something “spectacular and unique”, and other meaningless marketing clichés

Microsoft’s new first-party game development initiative… The Initiative has now properly introduced itself with a hype video about not actually very much. The studio recently opened in Santa Monica, its offices occupied by a who’s-who list of industry veterans including Darrell Gallagher (Activision, Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics), Brian Westergaard (God of War, Rise of the Tomb Raider), Drew Murray (Sunset Overdrive, Resistance 3), Tom Shepard (Rockstar Games), and Annie Lohr (Respawn Entertainment, Riot Games, Treyarch), and wants you to know it’s definitely going to make some games.

“One word to describe The Initiative, right now,” somebody explains in the intro. “It’s ambition.”

Announced at E3 2018 as part of Microsoft’s desperate acquisition binge for Xbox exclusives that, until now, have mostly been somewhat less than impressive in comparison with Sony’s catalogue, The Initiative has not even announced its debut game. Neither has Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Compulsion Games (We Happy Few), Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice), and Undead Labs (State of Decay), acquired at the same time, or Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment, both of which also subsequently joined the Microsoft enclave in November.

But with Xbox “going big” at E3 2019, we can expect to find out soon enough.