“I think Johanna offers a lot of modern possibilities and I love to see the team focus on them.”
Xbox head Phil Spencer recently took a look at IGN’s Unlocked podcast and talked a bit about The Perfect Dark’s upcoming reboot. While he didn’t go into details, he also detailed the reasons for Joanna Dark’s return and how long it had been planned.
The Perfect Dark reboot is being developed by The Initiative, a Santa Monica studio created as its first project and led by industry veteran Darrell Gallagher. Gallagher has worked with many developers throughout his career, most notably as head of studio Crystal Dynamics leading the reimagining of Tomb Raider. He was also the head of studio at Square Enix for Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
“The discussion took place even before he (Darrell Gallagher) joined us,” Spencer said. “Obviously, he had a good track record at Crystal, the job done with Lara Croft, and the rethinking of Tomb Raider, so we looked for different opportunities to work with him and Joanna and Perfect Dark were one of those, which worried him a lot.”
One of the unanswered questions is whether this game will be a complete reimagining of Perfect Dark or will it continue the tradition of existing games and just be a remake. “In the end, maybe I’m wrong that the path we take matters,” Spencer says. “It doesn’t matter if we decide to go back and reimagine Perfect Dark or do something new. I think the quality of the execution is important and whether we create a great game that people will love. “
However, there is no doubt that Microsoft knows that one of the games is a much better starting point than the other. “You know, Perfect Dark actually had two iterations and people liked one of them, at number 64. There was a game to launch at 360, it was difficult to prepare and Rare had 2 games to launch that year with Kameo,” says Spencer. “But, you know, it didn’t work out as well as we wanted. And now it all comes down to how they reimagine Joanna. “
Finally, Spencer talked about Joanna’s importance among the rather ruthless Xbox lineup. “I think it’s great that we can focus on the female character, we don’t have that many in the first lineup. I think Joanna offers a lot of modern possibilities. I like that the team is focused on them, with a strong character … ”.
Spencer went on to highlight the importance of not only Gallagher to the project, but how long Joanna Dark’s return was in Microsoft’s plans. “To be clear, the discussion started with Darrell even before he joined us. I didn’t want him to be a leader, and then it wasn’t something that we would agree to do anything about. It wasn’t the only result, it didn’t have to be like “Darrell, let’s do Perfect Dark or don’t come to Microsoft”, but it was a discussion before he came to us. Everyone who joined the team joined our common idea. “
While no details are available yet, that’s enough to keep us excited about this reboot: Gallagher is one thing, but The Initiative is completely chock-full of developers who have equally impressive track records. That’s all we know about the Perfect Dark reboot. Do us a favor, Darrell: get rid of Elvis. You are welcome.