Perfect Dark allows Xbox to focus on "modern opportunities" says Phil Spencer

Perfect Dark
(Image credit: The Initiative)

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has spoken about the upcoming Perfect Dark game, saying it's great to have a new female protagonist in the console's library. 

In a long interview for the 500th episode of IGN's Podcast Unlocked, Spencer spoke about the Perfect Dark reboot coming from new studio, The Initiative. In particular, Spencer pointed out that protagonist Joanna Dark adds a more diverse look to Xbox's main set of characters. He said: "I think it's awesome for us. We can focus on a female protagonist in our lineup. We don't have a lot of that in our first-party [lineup]." 

"I think Joanna offers a lot of modern opportunities that I love to see the team kind of focusing on, having a strong protagonist."

While Xbox has mostly been known for its gruff male protagonists like Marcus Fenix and Master Chief, in recent years that look has begun to change. Kait Diaz has more or less become the lead of the modern Gears of War franchise, and after acquiring Ninja Theory, Senua from Hellblade is now an established face too. However, Joanna Dark offers a refreshed protagonist to Xbox's mainstream library. 

Spencer also spoke about getting The Initiative lead Darrel Gallagher into the Xbox family. The Activision and Crystal Dynamics veteran was seemingly given a couple of projects the studio could work on, and the Perfect Dark reboot was what he wanted. 

Spencer explained: "Obviously [Gallagher] had a great track record at [Crystal Dynamics], and the work that he had done with Warcraft and the re-imagining of Tomb Raider. So when we were looking at different opportunities, one that we brought up was Joanna and Perfect Dark, and it was something that he was excited about in the end."

Gallagher has a great track record with reviving franchises. His aforementioned work on the re-imagined Tomb Raider should be a great blueprint for getting Perfect Dark back into the mainstream. 

The series has been dormant since the Xbox 360 launch title Perfect Dark Zero in 2005, but it appears Xbox is committed to making it a major player in its library. So much so, Microsoft has even listed The Initiative as an AAAA studio. Here's hoping when it finally does show up again, there is plenty to get excited about. 

If you'd like to know what else is coming on the console's horizon, here's a list of the upcoming Xbox Series X games. 

Guides Editor at TechRadar

Patrick Dane is currently the Guides Editor at TechRadar. However, he was formerly a freelance games journalist writing for sites and publications such as GamesRadar, Metro, IGN, Eurogamer, PC Gamer, and the International Business Times, among others. He was also once the Managing Editor for Bleeding Cool.