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Microsoft's The Initiative lands another Naughty Dog vet

Microsoft's The Initiative lands another Naughty Dog vet

Microsoft's Santa Monica-based The Initiative studio has hired yet another veteran of The Last of Us maker Naughty Dog.

Character sharing technical director Lauren Garcia (pictured) announced his moved to the developer via Twitter, saying that he has come on board as senior shader technologies developer.

"So happy to announce that this week I joined at The Initiative," he wrote.

"This is an incredible team working on something truly special. It was so hard to left behind my friends at Naughty Dog. But I need to say thank you to Xbox and Phil Spencer to allow me be part of Xbox family."

Garcia is one of eight Initiative employees who down has having formerly worked at The Last of Us and Uncharted studio on LinkedIn.

Xbox announced The Initiative at E3 2018, alongside the acquisition of four other studios in Playground, Ninja Theory, Undead Labs and Compulsion. The venture is being headed up by Crystal Dynamics vet Darrell Gallagher, who joined the Big M in an unspecified role two months before the developer's reveal.

One year after The Initiative was unveiled, took a look at who Microsoft had hired to work at its new studio. Since then, the firm has snapped up vets from Crystal Dynamics, Respawn and Naughty Dog.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said that the developer is working on both old and new IP.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.