Naughty Dog veteran Bruce Straley, who served as co-director on Uncharted 2, Uncharted 4, and the The Last of Us before leaving the games industry in 2017, has announced hes returning to game development and is establishing a new studio, Wildflower Interactive, to do just that.
Straley broke the news of his return in a video shared on Twitter, explaining, “In 2017, I left the industry not sure if I wanted to make games anymore, 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,” Straley continued, “and we started prototyping and the idea started getting good, it started becoming exciting again, and I realised I need to make this game. But if Im 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 if were going to do that then we have to do it the right way.”
“It has to be inclusive, equitable, and collaborative, full of big-hearted people that want to grow both professionally and personally. The culture needs to be as iterative as the way we make games…so were doing it!”.
While Straley didnt offer any hints as to what Wildflower Interactives first project will be, the studios website says its focused on making “small-ish, creatively-charged, uniquely-stylised games that explore the possibilities of our medium”.
Wildflowers current team comes from all across the industry – having work on games including Call of Duty, Uncharted 4, The Last of Us, Pathless, Abzu, Kena, and Astroneer – and Straley says the studio has already lined up an “exciting partner that supports what were doing and is going to help us reach the broadest audience possible”.
“Im super-excited about what were building over here,” he added. “Were making something Ive never played before and I hope youll check us out.”