Perfect Dark reboot director leaves studio

Perfect Dark
(Image credit: Microsoft)

User Klobrille on the ResetEra forums noticed a curious change related to the development of the Perfect Dark reboot announced back in 2020: the game's director, Dan Neuburger, seems to have left the project. Neuburger's LinkedIn shows him as having departed Perfect Dark's developer, The Initiative, last month.

The Perfect Dark reboot is being co-developed by The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics, the studio behind Marvel's Avengers and the Tomb Raider reboot. The Initiative was formed by Microsoft in 2018 as a first-party development house, and Perfect Dark will be their first released game. Neuburger seems to have been at the studio since its founding or close to it, going off his LinkedIn.

This departure could mean any number of things for the upcoming Perfect Dark. Senior staff departures in the middle of development are almost never good news for a game's quality or timely release, but some games manage to pull through despite this. Halo Infinite has largely been a success despite what looks to have been a highly chaotic development cycle.

Klobrille on ResetEra postulates that this could be less disastrous than it seems given the relationship between The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics. The Initiative is a much smaller studio, the theory goes, and was possibly always intended as an incubator for the early stages of the project, later passing the baton to Crystal Dynamics and its superior resources to bring Perfect Dark home.

In that case, Neuburger's period of most intensive work on the project may have passed, lessening the blow of his departure. We'll have to wait and see what comes of Perfect Dark before we know for sure.

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Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.