After 18 years with Naughty Dog, Bruce Straley, the co-director of The Last of Us and Uncharted 4, is leaving the studio. "This has been the hardest decision of my career," he explained in a blog post. "Naughty Dog is home."
Straley said that "after heading up three extremely demanding projects, and taking some extended time away from the office [following Uncharted 4], I found my energy focusing in other directions, and I slowly realized this was the signal that it's time to move on."
Naughty Dog president Evan Wells also wrote about the departure, noting that "Bruce's drive for excellence and enthusiastic support for his teammates has helped shape the studio culture and will continue to have a lasting impact. For that alone, the entire team is grateful. And for me, I can attribute much of my own personal growth as a game developer to having worked alongside his amazing talent for more than twenty years."
"Over the years Naughty Dog has had to part ways with many talented team members, and it's always sad to see them go, but this one is particularly hard for me," said Wells.
"[Bruce] has been my mentor, directing partner, and friend," tweeted Neil Druckmann, who co-directed both The Last of Us and Uncharted 4 with Straley. "I miss working with him but am excited to experience whatever he does next." Druckmann is currently directing The Last of Us Part II.