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Perfect Dark report claims things are in a "very rough state" after years of set-backs and other development woes

Things seem to be a bit untidy.

Perfect Dark Logo
Image credit: The Initiative / Xbox Game Studios

A new report states the Perfect Dark reboot is again experiencing development issues, with sources going so far as to state the game is in a “very rough state.”

This is according to folks familiar with the matter, who told Giant Bombcast’s Jeff Grubb that things aren’t going according to plan with the PC and Xbox Series X/S game.

Perfect Dark announcement trailerWatch on YouTube

According to Grubb, he’s been hearing “for years” that “Perfect Dark is in a rough state; it sounds like it's in a very rough state," he said. "And it doesn't sound like it's really come together in any way since [the announcement] and [news of] Crystal Dynamics coming on board to help with that."

Grubb added that the studios are considering a perspective other than first-person for Perfect Dark, a series known for being a first-person shooter.

In early 2020, Alex listed Perfect Dark as one of the games Microsoft should resurrect for Xbox Series X. Little did we know that a new game in the series was in the works - despite rumors and hints alluding to it on and off over the years - and that development had started in two years prior in 2018.

When finally announced in 2020 at The Game Awards, The Initiative said it was "aiming to deliver a secret agent thriller set in a near-future world," as it set out to re-imagine one of the “best-loved IPs from gaming history.” The news was welcomed by many, including Alex, who stated he hopes the game isn’t just about Joanna being a super-spy, but that it would also maintain the original’s campy alien theme.

The following year, it was announced Crystal Dynamics would lend a hand in developing the title, as after years of prototyping, The Initiative was ready to start pushing production on Perfect Dark. Because the team wasn’t large enough - at least at the time - Microsoft enlisted the Tomb Raider studio to help get the ball rolling after the pandemic slowed development.

After a year of silence on the game, in June 2023 a report claimed Perfect Dark’s development was being bogged down by constantly shifting ideas and goals, and suffering setbacks due to senior leadership changes and core designer departures. The report also stated the game was likely two to three years away from release, and may even be an episodic venture similar to Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

Add that last nugget in with today’s report, it seems nothing has changed in the past year. Hopefully, the teams working on Perfect Dark can get it sorted soon.

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