Microsoft helped to kick off The Game Awards this evening with a quick reveal of what its new studio The Initiative is working on: Perfect Dark. The Santa Monica-based developer brought a teaser to hype up the Xbox Series X/S game.

The Initiative’s creative team says the game takes place in an ecological science-fiction setting. On the surface, everything seems fine. But something underneath is rotten, and this game explores that, using the Perfect Dark franchise as a framework.

Microsoft founded The Initiative in 2018. The company has previously referred to it as its “AAAA” studio, which is a reference to the massive budgets that select “triple-A” studios work with. Since then, Microsoft has attracted talent from developers like Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica.

Now, The Initiative is on a path toward releasing its first game. And it may have lofty expectations to live up to. It’s games like this that will determine whether Xbox is a prime gaming destination or just a sideshow to Nintendo and Sony.

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