The Last of Us and Uncharted 4 co-director Bruce Straley departs from Naughty Dog
He will be missed.
Naughty Dog is by far one of the most talented developers in the industry and that is due to all of the creative folks that work at the studio. While there are countless people who do various things, there's one duo that have recently shined brighter than others.
In 2013, Naughty Dog branched off from the light-hearted Uncharted games to the dark, grim post apocalyptic game titled The Last of Us. The game was brought to life by Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley and showed that Naughty Dog is capable of tackling any game that comes their way. Production on The Last of Us was pretty grueling for the team and while they were finishing it up, another team was beginning to shape what would be Uncharted 4.
Writer Amy Hennig was set to return and tell a new story with PlayStation's iconic character, Nathan Drake, but after some of the top dogs sat down with Hennig and discussed the game, Amy and Naughty Dog went their separate ways. This left Uncharted 4 with a void to fill, the game needed a leader (or leaders) and since The Last of Us was basically wrapped, that meant Straley and Druckmann could step in. The two hesitated as they wanted to take some time to relax and recharge but they were willing to take on the responsibility.
The two delivered another critically acclaimed game for PlayStation and proved that they were some of the most talented people in the industry. After the launch of Uncharted 4, Straley took a sabbatical. Many assumed that he'd return and would help Druckmann complete The Last of Us 2 but that's simply not the case.
Bruce Straley announced today that he will not be returning to Naughty Dog and he'll be moving on to take on other creative offerings. It's unclear if he will continue to work in the games industry or if he'll be going elsewhere. Straley wrote a touching goodbye blog post on Naughty Dog's website that details his experience at the company and how grateful he is for being able to spend 18 years of his life there.
We wish Bruce Straley the best of luck on his future endeavors and we know Naughty Dog won't be quite the same without him.