At E3 2018, Microsoft announced that the company was acquiring developers like Playground Games and forming a new Santa Monica-based team called The Initiative. We've known for a while that a lot of high-profile talent was being hired there, but today we learned that Rockstar Games' Tom Shepherd is also working there as of September.

Microsoft founded The Initiative this year so that the studio could build quality Microsoft exclusives like God of War or Uncharted. It seems like the company has the team to do just that because individuals like Shepherd have worked on such games. Shepherd was previously the Technical Director at Rockstar Games.

It's great to see Microsoft hire such individuals. Hopefully this will address the concerns many gamers have that Microsoft isn't producing enough quality first-party exclusives which rivaled those found on the competition. Games like God of War, Spider-Man, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Horizon Zero Dawn garner a lot of press attention and this is noticeable to many gamers who own an Xbox One. Not everyone has the means to purchase all the consoles in order to play all of these games. People crave comparable titles on the platform they own.

We'll keep you posted as soon as we know more about what The Initiative is working on. Hopefully the title will be an open-world adventure which pushes the boundaries of storytelling, a category the Microsoft first-party lineup desperately needs.

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