It has been over a year since Microsoft announced the forming of Santa Monica-based studio The Initiative. The team would be comprised of industry veterans who will work primarily to bring a strong first-party lineup directly to the Xbox platform. However, news regarding the year-old developer have been pretty quiet as there has yet to be an official reveal or any form of teaser surrounding their first project.
Unlike the development at the team, we instead have learned a lot about staffing of the studio as new faces continue to join this potential rockstar developer. Most recently, it is reported that a former Santa Monica Studios developer has joined the ranks of The Initiative. That being Erik Jakobsen, who worked as a Senior Staff Environment Artist for last year’s God of War.
Twitter user @klobrille brings this discovery to the light as he stumbled upon Jakobsen’s LinkedIn account which reveals his new position at The Initiative; Jakobsen’s profile reads that he is a Principal Environment Artist.
Exciting to see the newest addition to The Initiative team, Jakobsen is actually the second former Santa Monica Studio developer to join the Xbox Game Studios-owned developer. Earlier this year in January, it was revealed that Senior Staff Level Designer Chris O’Neil left the God of War studio for The Initiative for the position of Lead Level Designer.
Even more on the topic of Sony Interactive Entertainment developers joining The Initiative, you could consider the addition of formerly Insomniac Games’ Drew Murray joining the team as well. Although Murray did depart from his former employer prior to the acquisition which occurred this summer, Insomniac Games essentially was ranked to be a first-party team for the PlayStation brand aside from Sunset Overdrive.
What do you think Jakobsen’s addition to The Initiative could mean for the team’s first project?