Bruce Straley Leaves Naughty Dog

Bruce Straley (director of Uncharted 2: Among ThievesThe Last of Us, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End) has announced his departure from Naughty Dog.

His leaving the company follows 18 years at the studio, where he started working as a texture artist before they were even acquired by Sony in 2001.

He worked his way up and became director on some of their biggest titles. Due to the demand from the production cycle on those games and some extended time off, he found his attention moving elsewhere, thus he decided to move on.

Here’s the entire message from Straley:

It’s impossible to summarize 18 of the most influential years of my career in a blog post, but here we are — today, with the heaviest of hearts, I am announcing my departure from Naughty Dog.

This has been the hardest decision of my career. Naughty Dog is home. 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.

I joined the Kennel in 1999 as a texture artist on Crash Team Racing. Back before Naughty Dog even had a coffee maker. I was employee #15. 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! I mean, 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. But more than the talent, it’s the people that I’ll miss the most. The work culture at Naughty Dog is about getting out of your seat and solving problems together. It’s what has allowed me to build so many friendships and gain so much respect for this stellar group of people. I get it —“it’s just work” — but when you spend as much time as we do together, in the pressure cooker of creative work and deadlines, you really get to know a person. And 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.

With the deepest gratitude — thank you to everyone I’ve gotten to work with over the years. I’ll miss you and your energy profoundly. Thanks to Andy and Jason for taking a chance on me and setting the bar. Thanks to Amy and Neil for being great creative partners. Thanks to Christophe for all the support and inspiration — I’ve learned so much from you. And an extra special thanks to Evan Wells. You were the first person I met who truly inspired me to believe in the power of gaming, and if not for you I may never have made it to Naughty Dog in the first place. My appreciation goes way beyond what words can say.

And a sincere thanks to the fans. Knowing I was a part of creating something that touched or moved any of you made this whole thing worthwhile — and now I, too, get to anticipate the next Naughty Dog masterpiece!

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.

You can keep a lookout for any announcements on my Twitter: @bruce_straley.

Dog for life,
Bruce Straley

Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • ProxyDoug

    Hmm, who is directing The Last of Us 2 then?
    And I wonder if there could be more to this story…

  • Mr0303

    Just Neil Druckmann. Now there’s nobody to stop him from making it an SJW circlejerk.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    Do they even have anyone else who could even fit the role anymore? I guess it’s Neil’s playground now.

  • Fear Me I Am Free

    Wake me up when Neil Druckmann leaves.

  • Travis Touchdown
  • Mr0303

    I would take anyone else, but it seems Naughty Dog are lost to the virus.

  • NukeA6

    Thanks for reminding me why I can’t stand that damn site.

  • Neojames82

    Laura is in a real women anyway so this statement is wrong.

  • Another one bites the dust.

  • Got to get rid of the Cis White males inorder to push their SJW agenda.

  • Michael Richardson

    But if it were composed entirely of men, it would be “problematic.”

    This is the problem with talk of “diversity;” they don’t want it. Diversity is just code for “not white and/or male.”

  • tccboss

    Please no if it’s only trannies, please no!

  • Neojames82

    More like Cuckmann, right?!

  • BubbaHoTep

    I’ve heard many accounts of companies that were women only (often because they felt that things would be better without men) that eventually fell apart due to cliques, petty infighting, and lack of any real leadership thanks to a ‘everybody is equal and we’re all friends’ mentality (because a stable hierarchy is a tool of the patriarchy).

    Basically they become high school 2.0, complete with the emotional teen girl mindset.

  • SiliconNooB

    Laura Kate Dale is a man.

  • SiliconNooB

    This is one of the complete fuckwits who pushed Amy Hennig out of Naughty Dog!

  • SiliconNooB

    Too bad for Sony – I don’t buy Druckman games.

  • Mr0303