In what he's calling the hardest decision of his career, Naughty Dog Game Director Bruce Staley is saying goodbye to the company. Bruce Straley has been an employee of the company for 18 years and in that time climbed his way up the ranks from Artist to Game Director. Since then, he's become somewhat of a figurehead for Naughty Dog alongside his creative partner Neil Druckmann.
"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", Straley wrote in a blog post.
I'm leaving Naughty Dog with the strongest team it's ever had, and that's saying a lot. 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.
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. "The work culture at Naughty Dog is about getting out of your seat and solving problems together", he added.
As indicated in the book Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, Bruce Straley leaving Naughty Dog at this time isn't too shocking. "With the deepest gratitude - thank you to everyone I've gotten to work with over the years". 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. They were pushing themselves to do things beyond what they even thought was possible, which in turn pushed me, and I loved it!
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.