The Last Of Us Director Speaks On His Departure From Naughty Dog, And Why It Was The “Greatest Thing”

Working for a big company can be exciting, but there can also be pratfalls that come with it, like [...]

Uncharted 2

Working for a big company can be exciting, but there can also be pratfalls that come with it, like the looming threat of layoffs if a project doesn't do well, or the possible feeling that you're trying to get too much done within it. Still, it's something else, and reflecting on it as part of your career can really evoke a lot of memories.

Just ask Bruce Straley, who served as the director of The Last of Us and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End for Naughty Dog before leaving the company. Straley recently stopped by the Final Games Podcast to talk about his experience with the company, and why leaving was actually something that was a change for the better for him.

Speaking with former QA tester for Rockstar Games Liam Edwards (who hosts the show), Straley didn't hold back when it came to talking about his final day at Naughty Dog. "I was always kinda searching for…somebody to acknowledge, 'Dude, you're okay. You're worth something…and something about the last day of Naughty Dog, where the whole team showed up…it's a beautiful thing that they went out of their way to set up an event for me…and it's crazy that you have to leave somewhere to get the acknowledgement."

He continued, "The emotional security that I've always been looking for finally came…and it sounds so broken and so wrong to say it, but at the same time, it was kinda the most emotional and most beautiful and…most validating experience that I've had in my career…that I've actually made an impact on people personally is the most rewarding thing of my entire career."

He also asked about the work he's done for the company, and his personal reflection on it. "It's a weird thing to say that leaving Naughty Dog was one of the greatest things to happen in my career…The Last of Us was really the culmination of a lot of philosophies that I had been building up and that was amazing, and to win awards on Uncharted 2 and to dedicate myself to something; I had a vision and I really spearheaded that project with the idea of wanting to make something that I hadn't played before in the industry, and that really manifested itself ina way that I never could have imagined."

Straley also (frankly) discussed how work when it came to the development process of games. "There's two kinds of 'give a fucks: either you say 'fuck it' where you give up, or you say 'fuck it' and nothing matters…I like the fuck it's where you go, 'Fuck it, it doesn't matter what they think.' Fuck it, it doesn't matter if you're successful or not, you're gonna learn something in the process…I think that's the struggle of external and internal; I want to be true to myself, but I also want to do something that somebody else is gonna recognize."

Straley is still on a sabbatical at the moment, but we're excited to see what he does next. We certainly wish him the best of luck.

(Thanks to OnlySP for the scoop!)