Former Naughty Dog director, Bruce Straley has announced after five years he’s making his official return to video game development with the founding of his new studio, Wildflower Interactive which is described on its website as focusing on making “‘small-ish, creatively-charged, uniquely-stylized games that explore the possibilities of our medium”.
Straley who joined Naughty Dog in 1999 might be better known for serving as co-director alongside Amy Henig and Neil Druckmann on some familiar Naughty Dog games including Uncharted 2: Honor Among Thieves (2009), The Last of Us (2013), The Last of Us: Left Behind (2014), and Uncharted 4: A thief’s End (2016). His return and studio were announced in a video message which revealed that the developer’s first game is something that Straley has “never played before .”
“In 2017 I left the industry not sure if I wanted to make games anymore,” Straley said in the studio’s announcement video. “But the longer I was away, I kept thinking about this medium, and everything yet to be done and everything I wanted to do still. And this idea kept following me. So I grabbed some friends and we started prototyping. And the idea started getting good. It started becoming exciting again! And I realized, I need to make this game. But if I’m going to make this game it means I have to build a team. And if I build a team, I have to build a company. And, well if we’re going to do that, then we have to do it the right way.”
The Last of Us co-director adds that Wildflower Interactive is a fully remote studio based out of the California time zone and hopes for the studio to be “inclusive, equitable, collaborative [and] full of big-hearted people that want to grow both professionally and personally.” While the studio’s current team features talented individuals who have worked on games such as Call of Duty, Uncharted 4, The Last of Us, Pathless, Abzu, Kenya, and Astroneer – they are looking to hire more. The positions it’s hiring are in audio, art, character modelling, animation, programming, and the company’s COO/studio manager role which anyone interested can apply for on the studio’s website.