As one of the newest Xbox Game Studios, Compulsion Games may not draw the same level of excitement as other recent acquisitions like Obsidian Entertainment or Playground Games, but recent LinkedIn activity indicates they've begun hiring for an unannounced new IP, and they're bringing in some AAA talent for whatever it is.
The first new hire is Dominique Cote, who previously worked for Eidos-Montréal on games like Thief (2014), Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Cote has joined Compulsion as of this month with the role of Senior Technical Artist. Another new Compulsion dev is Maxim Archetto, who worked alongside Cote on Thief and Deus Ex and previous to that spent time at Ubisoft. Archetto specializes in quest-building and narrative design and joins Compulsion as the Senior Narrative Designer.
Compulsion Games was acquired by Microsoft just before their latest game, 2018's We Happy Few. That game, an immersive sim set in dystopian England during the 1970s where people literally take happy pills to rinse away the country's grim reality, was praised for its world-building but ultimately didn't impress critics sitting at a weak 63 here on OpenCritic. The title changed direction mid-development and that change was too apparent for many players when it finally launched last summer. What began as a roguelite from fewer than ten people shifted to become something bigger, with dozens of devs in the studio, and closer to the BioShockian expectations fans had for it upon its unveiling, but in the end, it felt stuck in between both worlds.
It's interesting to note that both new hires come from immersive sim backgrounds. It may be an indication of what Compulsion Games is working on. They put out a hiring call earlier in 2019 and according to their website, they're not done hiring quite yet.