Earlier this year at E3 2018, Phil Spencer, Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft, announced that the company was expanding its first-party studios by acquiring four new studios and founding a fifth from the ground up. Named The Initiative, it’s being led by Darrell Gallagher, who was the head of Crystal Dynamics for several years and worked on games such as Rise of the Tomb Raider. Today, it looks like this new studio has picked up even more talent, as Tom Shepherd, former Technical Director at Rockstar Games, joins The Initiative.

Tom Shepherd has joined The Initiative:

Tom worked on games like Red Dead Redemption, leadings teams of programmers and developing physics engines. A while ago, we learned that The Initiative had brought on some major talent from studios like Sony Santa Monica, Respawn Entertainment and Crystal Dynamics, as well as other staff in different roles at Microsoft.

It’s still early days for The Initiative, as key staff are being hired to fulfill critical roles. They are likely looking to fill all the major positions, getting the foundations of the studio’s culture in place before hiring more openly. Building a big studio from the ground up isn’t easy however, it looks like they’re off to a good start.