The games industry took off over the weekend, but not in a very positive way. We’re hearing from two studios at once that changes are happening.
Let’s start with The Initiative. They’re working on the Perfect Dark reboot, already announced for late 2020 (and rumoured to be showing up at this year’s E3)… but without Dan Neuburger, if his LinkedIn profile is to be believed. The departure of Perfect Dark’s director has been spotted by Klobrille, an Xbox insider. Apparently, Neuburger left the studio in February and is now reportedly looking for a job as a designer or director…
He worked at The Initiative for nearly four years and previously worked as a director on the Tomb Raider reboot trilogy at Crystal Dynamics (interestingly, that studio is helping develop Perfect Dark for the team under Xbox Game Studios…). It’s safe to say that two prominent people have left the game behind in the space of a year, as in February 2021, design director Drew Murray announced that he’s returning to Insomniac Games (he decided to make the switch for personal reasons).
Let’s jump from Microsoft to Ubisoft. David Polfeldt, the former managing director of Massive Entertainment (who was due to return in a strategy role after a sabbatical), has submitted his resignation, leaving the studio, currently working on the free-to-play The Division Heartland, Avatar Frontiers: Pandora, due out no later than March 2023, and a Star Wars project.
Polfeldt’s departure was confirmed in Nathan Brown’s Hit Points newsletter. Polfeldt, who had been with the company for seventeen years, resigned earlier this year and has been put on gardening leave for six months (until then, he cannot take another job). He says that he goes where the wind blows. One of the motivations behind his resignation was that Massive had grown significantly (more than 750 people work there). “I think my philosophy and my skills work well for a certain kind of group of a certain kind of size. I don’t think I’m the right manager for what the studio has become. I’m perfectly at peace with it,” he said.
Good luck to both of them.