Three Years After Being Announced, Microsoft’s ‘Perfect Dark’ Reboot Reportedly “In A Very Rough Place”

Joanna Dark (Laurence Bouvard) lives to fight another day in Perfect Dark Zero (2005), Microsoft Game Studios
Joanna Dark (Laurence Bouvard) lives to fight another day in Perfect Dark Zero (2005), Microsoft Game Studios

The reboot of Perfect Dark continues to have a far from perfect development, as according to the latest word on the street, the title is currently “in a very rough place.”

Joanna Dark (Eveline Fischer) hides from the guards in Perfect Dark (2010), Microsoft Game Studios
Joanna Dark (Eveline Fischer) hides from the guards in Perfect Dark (2010), Microsoft Game Studios

RELATED: James Gunn Doesn’t Want To Give ‘Justice League Unlimited’ A Legacy Sequel Like ‘X-Men ‘97’ – And That’s A Mistake

This alleged update on Joanna Dark’s return was provided by noted video game journalist Jeff Grubb during the 839th episode of the Giant Bomb podcast, Giant Bombcast.

Giant Bombcast 839: Weird Bird Prison

Amid discussions of Microsoft decision to close the studios behind Redfall and Hi-Fi Rush, Grubb at one point expressed doubts regarding the company’s potential to support the numerous titles set to be unveiled during the upcoming Xbox Showcase in June, telling fellow panelists Jan Ochoa, Jeff Bakalar, and Niki Grayson, “It feels like I should maybe just wait and see [whether Microsoft actually supports these games] instead of getting excited about a lot of this stuff.”

Expanding on his doubts regarding Microsoft’s gaming future, Grubb then revealed, “You know, they have a ton of games already announced, and as part of the fallout from this – I’m hearing more and more, I’ve been hearing for years, that Perfect Dark is in a rough state.”

“It sounds like it’s in a very rough state,” he added. “It doesn’t sound like it’s really come together in any way, [even with] Crystal Dynamics coming on board to help work on that.”

Joanna Dark (Eveline Fischer) is ready for action in Perfect Dark (2010), Microsoft Game Studios
Joanna Dark (Eveline Fischer) is ready for action in Perfect Dark (2010), Microsoft Game Studios

RELATED: Microsoft Guts Bethesda’s Workforce, Shutters ‘Redfall’ And ‘Hi-Fi Rush’ Studios In Order “To Focus On Our Priority Games”

Per VGC, Grubb’s claim was later corroborated by both RPG Site owner and VG24/7 Assistant Editor Alex Donaldson as well as Did You Know Gaming? contributor Liam Robertson.

“lmao,” laughed Donaldson on X. “I have some crazy stories about the development of that game I have not put in print out of respect for a team really trying hard to push a boulder up a steep hill. But my patience is getting thin.”

Alex Donaldson (@APZonerunner) on X
Alex Donaldson (@APZonerunner) via X

On his own account, Robertson – who, in regards to video game scoops, most notably learned of Scalebound being cancelled well before it became public knowledge – asserted, “From what little I have heard about the development of the new Perfect Dark, it sounds like a future video in the making. Just a big, protracted mess.”

Liam Robertson (@Doctor_Cupcakes) on X
Liam Robertson (@Doctor_Cupcakes) via X

RELATED: Marvel President Believes Comics Industry Is “In A Healthy Place”, Blames Continued Struggles On Aftereffects Of COVID-19 Pandemic

The original Perfect Dark was a sci-fi FPS by Rare in 2000, building on the success of GoldenEye 007.

A prequel- Perfect Dark Zero came in 2005, followed by a remaster of the original game in 2010 for the Xbox 360 and the announcement of the aforementioned reboot at the The Game Awards in 2020.

Unfortunately for excited fans, outside of the 2021 confirmation that the aforementioned Crystal Dynamics had been tapped to assist the game’s main dev team, the fledgling Xbox Game Studios division The Initiative, in its development, the reboot has received no major updates since its initial reveal.

Joanna Dark (Laurence Bouvard) puts an end to Zhang Li (Togo Igawa) in Perfect Dark Zero (2005), Microsoft Game Studios
Joanna Dark (Laurence Bouvard) puts an end to Zhang Li (Togo Igawa) in Perfect Dark Zero (2005), Microsoft Game Studios

However, the same cannot be said of The Initiative, as following the game’s announcement in 2020, the team has reportedly suffered a “fast and furious” exodus of developers from among its rank, including Design Director Drew Murray and Game Director Dan Neuburger.

In light of The Initiative’s bleeding of developers, the team was completely revamped in 2022, with Head of Xbox Studios Matt Booty claiming that its previous struggles were the result of growing pains related to “starting up a new studio.”

Joanna Dark (Eveline Fischer) and Jonathan Steinberg (Steve Malpass) bicker in Perfect Dark (2010), Microsoft Game Studios
Joanna Dark (Eveline Fischer) and Jonathan Steinberg (Steve Malpass) bicker in Perfect Dark (2010), Microsoft Game Studios

In 2023, an IGN report by Rebekah Valentine revealed that, despite Crystal Dynamics addition to the game’s dev team and The Initiative’s rebooting, the Perfect Dark Reboot was still having troubles getting off the ground, with one developer reportedly revealing to her that the game’s announcement was so premature that its core mechanics were still being worked on at the time of its trailer’s debut.

This lack of progress was further confirmed to Valentine by a total of thirteen sources “familiar with the game’s development”, all of whom admitted that despite initial and grandiose hopes of it being a “AAAA” title, little progress had been made on the game thus far.

Joanna Dark (Eveline Fischer) dressed to kill in Perfect Dark (2010), Microsoft Game Studios
Joanna Dark (Eveline Fischer) dressed to kill in Perfect Dark (2010), Microsoft Game Studios

Said sources also claimed that Crystal Dynamics found a 2021 proof of concept lacking, with almost all of the project needing to be “reworked,” thus leading its development to restart completely the next year.

To this end, the sources predicted that, at the time of their speaking with Valentine in 2023, the Perfect Dark remake was at least two to three years away from launch.

In a rare breaking of their silence around the title, initial partner Certain Affinity and Xbox themselves would subsequently deny the claims made by IGN’s sources.

NEXT: ‘Mars Express’ Review – France’s Anime Film Is A Cyberpunk Standout

Share: 
Mentioned This Article:

More About: