Bruce Straley announced today that he is leaving Naughty Dog after 18 years. This is a big loss for Naughty Dog, as Bruce co-directed some of their best games in The Last of Us and Uncharted 4.
“This has been the hardest decision of my career. Naughty Dog is home,” Straley said in a goodbye post on the developers website. “The kennel is family. I’ve learned and grown so much from working with this incredible team. But 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 realized this was the signal that it’s time to move on.”
It was announced after The Last of Us Part 2 reveal that Bruce would not be co-directing with Neil Druckman, but fans just assumed that he was taking a well earned vacation.
Bruce started at Naughty Dog in 1999, as a texture artist on Crash Team Racing, and worked his way up to a leadership role in Uncharted 2 as he co-directed with Amy Henning. From then, Straley became a leader at the company, and would eventually co-create The Last of Us, which is considered one of the best games ever made. This is a big loss for Naughty Dog, but it seems Bruce is at peace with his decision, as he states, “As I close this chapter with a heavy heart and an appreciation for everything Naughty Dog has done for me, I open the next with an excitement to continue the journey into the creative process. I don’t have anything to announce just yet, but I look forward to the discovery and to sharing it with you all soon.”
From everyone here at Sick Critic, we wish him the best, and we can not wait to see what he does next.