Drew Murray, the senior designer at Xbox’s The Initiative, which is working on a new installment in the Perfect Dark series, has left the developer to rejoin Insomniac Games. Murray, who co-founded The Initiative after 10 years at Insomniac, was a designer on the Resistance and Ratchet & Clank series, and game director of the 2014 Xbox exclusive Sunset Overdrive.
Three weeks ago, Murray announced he was leaving the Santa Monica, California studio for personal reasons, saying, “my life outside of work needs more attention and headspace than I have been able to give it lately, so I’m stepping down from my role.”
Murray will now be the principal designer at Insomniac, which was acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment, becoming a part of SIE Worldwide Studios in 2019. The studio has developed Disruptor (1996), Outernauts (2012), and Fuse (2013), as well as Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which was released on November 12, 2020, for PS4 and PS5.
“I guess ten years, five games, and six job titles just wasn’t enough,” Murray tweeted. “I’m excited to be rejoining many friends and former colleagues at @insomniacgames as a Principal Designer. That takes me to my seventh job title; now I just need to work some days and make some games, right?”
Insomniac is currently developing Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which is set to be released exclusively for PS5 on June 11, 2021. Upon his departure from The Initiative, Murray said, “It’s been extraordinary working shoulder-to-shoulder with such a talented and experienced team, many of whom are great friends now.”
“Mystery surrounded the project when I joined the studio – I didn’t know what kind of game it was, I didn’t know it was going to be Perfect Dark, and I didn’t know anyone on the team. Two years later, we announced the franchise with a trailer that still gives me goosebumps.
“Most importantly, the team has the vision and talent to knock the game and franchise out of the park. My silver lining to all this is that I’m excited to join the screaming masses on Perfect Dark launch day to experience the game!” he added
Insomniac has a close working relationship with Naughty Dog, often sharing technology with each other, as well as High Impact Games, founded by former Insomniac developers, who later collaborated with the studio on Ratchet & Clank projects and Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier.
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