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A new week, a new Naughty Dog departure


Michael Knowland, the lead character artist for The Last of Us, has left Naughty Dog adding to the growing list of top level departures. Knowland had been with Naughty Dog since October 2011.

Over the last few months, Naught Dog has seen three top tier employees hand in their notice.  In March of this year, Amy Hennig, the creative director and lead writer on upcoming Uncharted 4, left to join Visceral Games. She was followed soon afterwards by Uncharted 4’s game director Justin Richmond. Earlier this month, Nate Wells left Naughty Dog to join Giant Sparrow; Wells filled the position of lead artist on The Last of Us.

While it might be tempting to chalk this up to typical development team departures (especially in light of the fact that Naughty Dog is a huge studio employing roughly 250 individuals) the number of high level departures in quick succession seems to indicate something else. It feels odd that this many leads would leave a development team as lauded as Naughty Dog. Then again, we might also be reading too much into this.

Source: Superannuation
Via: Polygon

  • Jordan

    I’m getting worried. Infinity Ward shut down? Meh. Blizzard shut down? That sucks. But if ND shuts down, what do I have to live for?

    • Miklós Szecsei

      I think you’re safe on that score; don’t panic. I can’t see Naughty Dog shutting down at all – there are still A LOT of incredibly talented people there, such as Neil Druckmann.

      • Jordan

        Very true. This isn’t COD; one team member can’t change everything

  • Alex Rowley

    How many people that have left were working on Uncharted 4? I kinda thought people were leaving because Uncharted was being taken into a new direction but this guy has only done things with The Last of Us.

    All in all it’s a damn pity because Naughty Dog are crazily good at what they do.


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