Senior AI Engineer

Last updated one month ago
Location:Santa Monica, California
Job Type:Full Time

The Initiative is an early stage first-party game development studio located in Santa Monica and part of Microsoft’s XBOX Game Studios. Our studio is about craft, creating story, innovating, and looking ahead to the next big thing.

At The Initiative, we are looking for collaborative problem solvers who want to dive into something new and create groundbreaking experiences for our players. Join us for this once-in-a-career opportunity to help build the studio, define our culture, and create an environment to attract world-class talent.

As our Senior AI Engineer, you will use your AI expertise to push the state of the art to new levels in our games. You will implement the technology needed to ship our current and future AAA games, working closely with the design and animation teams. You are versatile, have strong development and production-sense, and have the expertise to inspire and mentor others to do their best work. We are building the team from scratch, so this is a unique opportunity to help shape the gameplay toolbox we will be using for years to come.


As an experienced AI Engineer, you will work directly with the engineering team and other key stakeholders across disciplines to:

  • Take on complex game features, own the technical design, and deliver implementations on-time
  • Author high-quality performant code that builds on and improves existing tech
  • Create AI systems and behaviors that are easy to tune and fun for the player
  • Enable other members of the engineering team to create robust and shippable code
  • Work with the design team to clarify design requirements and create superior systems
  • Maintain strong relationships with other disciplines
  • Lead by example: demonstrate a willingness to give and receive feedback, collaborate with others to share techniques and ideas, and contribute to a positive working environment


  • BS degree in Computer Science or equivalent experience
  • 5+ years of C++ software engineering experience
  • 3+ years of experience in designing, developing, and shipping major game contributions in published games or entertainment with market or critical acclaim
  • Experience developing AI and simulating realistic behavior
  • Knowledge of current AI techniques used in game development
  • Experience with core gameplay systems – animation, physics, networking
  • Excellent debugging and optimizing skills

Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via the Accommodation request form.

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.