Naughty Dog has lost another member of the team; this time, the lead character artist for The Last of Us, Michael Knowland.
The news was reported by Superannuation on Twitter. The tweet that Superannuation sent included a link to Michael Knowland’s LinkedIn profile. The profile has been recently updated to show that Knowland no longer works at Naughty Dog. It should also be noted that Knowland worked on The Last of Us and was not believed to be working on the next Uncharted game.
There have been a few high profile members that have left Naughty Dog in recent months. Amy Hennig left Naughty Dog, though soon afterwards joined Visceral Studios, who are working on a new Star Wars game. This was followed by the news that game director for the next Uncharted game, Justin Richmond left to join Riot Games. Last week, Nate Wells, the Art Director at Naughty Dog left to join Giant Sparrow, who are working on an Unfinished Giant Sparrow Project.
We still do not know what Knowland has planned but as soon as we do, we will be sure to let you know.
It seems like something is happening at Naughty Dog. It was bad enough when Amy, who made Uncharted what it is today, left or as it was strongly rumoured was “forced out”. It also seemed bad when Justin and Nate left, but now with Michael leaving — even though we have no evidence of him working on the next Uncharted — is a big blow, you have to ask the question; what is happening at Naughty Dog? This no longer looks like a usual clear out that most studios do after completing a game, this looks like a studio which is having a crisis. I can only hope that Naughty Dog can continue making the great games that we are used to seeing from them.