Microsoft’s The Initiative May be Working on an Episodic Series, Reveal Could be Divisive


What is Microsoft’s much-ballyhooed new “AAAA” studio The Initiative working on? It’s a question Xbox fans have been asking themselves for years, and if the latest rumors end up being true, the answer may defy expectations. During the most recent episode of the XboxEra Podcast, the hosts discuss what they’ve heard about The Initiative, and according to them, their first big project is actually episodic. They specifically compare it to the Netflix series Black Mirror, in that there will likely be multiple standalone games/stores that will exist within a loosely connected universe. Here’s what insider Nick Baker, aka Shpeshal Ed, had to say on the subject…

All those episodes of Black Mirror are linked to each other, they take place within the same universe. [...] When I talked about The Initiative's game, I'm not saying it's exactly like Black Mirror, but it has that Black Mirror-like aspect to it. It's just stuff we're hearing. I know the world episodic has been thrown around.

Later in the conversation, the XboxEra hosts play down expectations that The Initiative is working on Sony-style blockbusters in the vein of God of War and The Last of Us, and express some worry about how the fans will react when their project is finally revealed.

Microsoft: Activision Blizzard Deal Is Moving Fast, About Midway Now

I don't think the internet is going to react very well to it. This is gonna be bad, a level of bad where people give up on Xbox Game Studios. Fanboys are gonna get really upset and throw out their Xboxes and stuff.

Well, that doesn’t sound good. You have to wonder how these latest rumors might jive with the previous ones that The Initiative is working on a new third-person Perfect Dark game. Will we be getting an episodic Perfect Dark series? Will the series not focus specifically on Joanna Dark, but rather a larger Perfect Dark universe? I could see Microsoft wanting to have their own interactive version of Black Mirror for Xbox Game Pass. Take these rumors with a grain of salt for now, but they certainly sound plausible.

What do you think about all this? Does The Initiative making an episodic series sound plausible? If so, do you think it’s a good idea?