Bruce Straley, co-director of The Last of Us and Uncharted 4 — two of the biggest PlayStation exclusives of the last decade — has announced that he will be leaving game development studio Naughty Dog following a year-long sabbatical.
“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,” he wrote on Naughty Dog’s official website today.
Last year it was reported that Straley, who spent 18 years with the studio working on everything from Crash Team Racing to Uncharted, wouldn’t be returning to co-direct The Last of Us 2 alongside his longtime creative partner Neil Druckmann, who is currently serving as that game’s director.
If you’re at all curious about what may have pushed Straley to leave Naught Dog after nearly two decades of service, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier just recently put out a book called Blood, Sweat, and Pixels that contains a chapter on the development of Uncharted 4. In the book, Schreier details how Straley made the decision to rent a second apartment closer to work to help combat the stress of having to commute across Los Angeles. According to several of his co-workers, Straley was an indispensable creative force at the studio and it sounds like his departure will create a void that will be difficult to fill.
We wish Bruce Straley all the best in his future endeavors.