The Last of Us and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End co-director Bruce Straley is departing from Naughty Dog after 18 years.
Straley joined Naughty Dog in 1999 where he served as a texture artist on Crash Team Racing and an artist on Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. After a decade he rose the ranks to become co-director on 2009’s Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, alongside series creator Amy Hennig.
From there Straley served as co-director, alongside Neil Druckmann, on The Last of Us, its Left Behind DLC, and Uncharted 4.
As for why he’s leaving, it sounds like he just needed a change of scenery – and maybe a vacation.
“After heading up three extremely demanding projects, and taking some extended time away from the office, I found my energy focusing in other directions, and I slowly realised this was the signal that it’s time to move on,” Straley said in his resignation letter.
“From day one, I knew I was surrounded by some of the most talented, driven, and passionate people in the industry. They were pushing themselves to do things beyond what they even thought was possible, which in turn pushed me, and I loved it!,” the veteran developer reflected. “It was also extremely intimidating, but the energy and determination to make something great, something we could all be proud of, was infectious. And that’s the way it still is to this day.”
“I’m leaving Naughty Dog with the strongest team it’s ever had, and that’s saying a lot,” Straley stated. “I’ve had my share of difficult and humbling moments. But having the privilege to see people grow beyond their concept of what’s possible for themselves technically, creatively, and personally has been the most rewarding aspect of my job and continues to motivate me to do the same. I’m so proud to have been a part of this team. I can’t wait to see what they create in the future.”
It’s not clear where Straley is headed, but he said he’s approaching the next chapter of his life with “an excitement to continue the journey into the creative process”, suggesting another role in game development. But who knows? Maybe he’ll take up painting or crafting beer. Whatever pursuit Straley winds up chasing, we wish him the best with his endeavors.