I’m trying to decide whether or not the string of Naughty Dog developer relocations is a sign of things coming from the studio or a simple reflection of the passage of time. Are developers leaving because of where the studio is headed, or are they simply moving on to different lines of work?
I’m not sure.
Two more developers have been added to the train of exits. Jacob Minkoff, Lead Designer on The Last of Us and Uncharted 3, left earlier this year as has just been confirmed by his LinkedIn profile. Taylor Kurosaki, one of the Narrative Designers for Naughty Dog, announced his departure through Twitter.
Both Minkoff and Kurosaki now work for Infinity Ward, the studio owned by Activision and currently only churning out Call of Duty titles. Their most recent, of course, was last year’s mediocre Ghosts. Both developers have apparently answered the, brace yourselves, CALL OF DUTY.
Minkoff and Kurosake follow banner departures like Amy Hennig’s. Hennig was the lead writer for Uncharted, a game with some of the best dialogue in the genre. She split for Visceral Games at EA. She’s currently working on a Star Wars game.
So, are these simple job departures nothing worth talking about, or are they a sign of how things are going at Naughty Dog?