After helming the project for the last two years, Drew Murray has announced he is stepping down as design director of Perfect Dark. He has been at The Initiative since its inception in 2018. Before joining up with the Santa Monica-based studio, Murray was a long-serving member of Insomniac. There he worked on games such as Ratchet & Clank, Resistance and Sunset Overdrive, the latter of which he directed. This impressive CV landed him a senior job at Microsoft’s new, ‘quadruple-A’ studio. Murray, however, took to social media on Monday to announce his departure from the project.
After two wild years helping start @TheInitiative @Xbox and rebooting #PerfectDark, it's time for me to say a tearful and bittersweet goodbye to my team at The Initiative.
— Drew Murray (@PlaidKnuckles) February 1, 2021
He explains in the thread that follows how confident he is of the team he’s left behind. He stated they have the “vision and talent” to see it through, and the announcement trailer still gives him “goosebumps”. Murray attributed his choice to leave due to personal reasons:
My life outside of work needs more attention and headspace than I have been able to give it lately, so I’m stepping down from my role.
Announced at The Game Awards last December, Perfect Dark is an action-adventure, first-person-shooter, themed as being ‘eco sci-fi’. It had been a regular feature on the rumour mill prior to its unveiling. Darrell Gallagher, former senior member of Crystal Dynamics and Activision, remains at the helm of the vastly experienced development team. This project looks to be an exciting one, and hopefully Drew Murray’s departure will not derail any progress.