A new Perfect Dark game is allegedly on its way, with the as-yet-unannounced title reportedly set to switch the action to third-person while “playing” within the series’ universe. The game is rumored to be in development from Xbox’s new studio The Initiative, which consists of industry veterans who have previously worked on the Uncharted and Tomb Raider franchises.
The surprising rumor has stemmed from journalist Jeff Grubb, who posted the information in the Twitch chat during a Kinda Funny show. As Kinda Funny Games Daily’s hosts discussed The Initiative’s mysterious new project, Grubb elaborated further in the chat.
“It means Perfect Dark, y’all,” Grubb messaged. When another viewer asked him if it was a third-person Perfect Dark game, Grubb replied: “It is.”
However, the game might not be a direct Perfect Dark sequel. Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad later tweeted that it’s “not quite” a new Perfect Dark game, with Grubb clarifying that it’s “playing in that universe.”
He added a further clarification, asking followers to instead put the emphasis on “playing,” and that it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s set within the Perfect Dark universe:
OK. This stuff spread fast. Please put the emphasis on "playing" in that universe. Don't take that as necessarily meaning it is "set" in that universe. It's still early, so https://t.co/6heKsvtQnS
— Jeff Grubb (@JeffGrubb) August 26, 2020
It’s unclear exactly what this means. If it’s a game not set within the Perfect Dark universe but instead “playing” with it, it could be that it borrows mechanics and themes from the series without lifting the setting and characters directly from it. Or it could be a more direct Perfect Dark spin-off, but one that drops the series’ branding and instead goes in its own direction.
There hasn’t been a new Perfect Dark game since 2005’s underwhelming Perfect Dark Zero, so the series isn’t exactly as popular as it used to be. If these rumors are to be believed, it’s unusual that Xbox would look to this license for The Initiative’s first project, with it arguably being a big gamble on a franchise that is relatively unknown to a modern audience. We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out, but with so much talent being put behind this project, Xbox must have a lot of faith in the idea.