It is almost 15 years ago that the fiery hairy spy hired by Rare was not infiltrated in our game consoles. That can change quickly. Several clues indeed suggest that Joanna Perfect Dark can soon appear on our screens again thanks to the team of The Initiative.
If you are interested in the idea of playing a new Perfect Dark, you should be interested in our summary of what the rumor started:
In an article by GameSpot published on January 12, 2015, Ken Lobb (Creative Director at Microsoft and former Rare) acknowledged that Perfectly dark was the focus of many discussions about which franchises to bring back for the next generation. He recalled that the year 2020 was a special year for the series because it was the year of the Perfect Dark Zero and that it represents the 20th anniversary of the first game.
Lobb clarified that if a new Perfect Dark was produced, he would like to see a more narrative game focused on Joanna Dark, in the third person, with infiltration. Since Ken Lobb’s statements, many rumors have appeared on the internet about the possible arrival of a new episode. Perfect Dark would leave the FPS genre and become a third-party action-adventure game. That’s good, Microsoft announced on E3 2018 the creation of a studio specifically set up to cover this category, with The Initiative.
The studio is directed by Darrell Gallagher, an action-adventure veteran who has long been working on another license with a female character: Tomb Raider. The artists recruited by the company seem to be familiar with the urban and futuristic style (among other things). As for Sze Jones, the character artist client of the project, she specialized in the creation of female characters. That can stay with the development of a Perfect Dark.
The artworks below are designed by Oliver Guiney, concept artist at The Initiative.
A Perfect Dark designed by a studio other than Rare? It is possible, yes. The British studio has become the habit of its war treasures, such as the Killer Instinct under the supervision of Double Helix / Iron Galaxy and Battletoads Revitalized by Dlala. During X019 Phil Spencer told us that the heads of his studios often met to discuss options:
“So maybe that”a certain franchise that belongs to another studio is taken over and adopted by another“
Officially, nothing prevents the initiative from taking over the fate of Joanna Dark, while Rare continues to explore new roads (Sea of Thieves, Everwild).
Killer Instinct and Battletoads have been lent to other studios.
Despite its small size, the initiative seems to be making rapid progress. On January 21, Drew Murray (design director of the project) warned that he would go to Microsoft “to test the game” He exposed on Twitter a T-shirt in the image of a female character that some have mistaken for Joanna Dark. It was actually Barbara Streisand (young). A few days later Phil Spencer published a message to thank his foals. He writes that the initiative is
“an incredibly talented studio that challenges itself to do new things and old things in new ways“
Entry “old things“(With a small smiley next to it) necessarily recalls the return of old intellectual property.
Lately, Microsoft emphasizes female characters from his creations. We remember Kait who took a major interest in the history of Gears of War or Senua that was used to present the Xbox Series X. To emphasize another female character through a new Perfect Dark would remain with the political editor of the company, which insists on the representation of diversity.
Gears 5 and Hellblade II
We remember that at this stage the development of a new Perfect Dark from The Initiative is based solely on speculation. Even if neither Microsoft nor The Initiative has denied anything at the moment, it is best to keep in mind that everything might just be a coincidence. We remember that for a while The Coalition seemed to be working on the return of Joanna Dark. The rumor was actually based on one demonstration unveiled at E3 2013 when the studio was still called Black Tusk.