Former Uncharted, The Last of Us game director Bruce Straley starts new game studio

Wildflower Interactive boasts team members from Call of Duty, Abzu.

Image via Wildflower Interactive

Former Naughty Dog director Bruce Straley has announced his return to the games industry with the creation of a new game studio: Wildflower Interactive.

After spending 18 years at Naughty Dog and acting as the co-game director for now-iconic titles like The Last of Us and Uncharted 4, Straley stepped away from making games in 2017, he said in an announcement video.

Upon returning, the creation of Wildflower Interactive seems to be a departure and change of pace from the blockbusters he was in charge of at Naughty Dog.

With a hand-drawn aesthetic and whimsical style, Wildflower Interactive is a smaller developer that has experience in a variety of different styles. According to the Wildflower Interactive website, developers on the team have experience working on titles from Call of Duty to Abzu.

“We’re making ‘small-ish,’ creatively-charged, uniquely-stylized games that explore the possibilities of our medium,” said Wildflower in its mission statement.

In an interview with Kotaku on the Kotaku Splitscreen podcast, Straley talked about the stress of making the Uncharted and The Last of Us games back-to-back.

”So there was this constant, it had nothing to do with Naughty Dog, nothing to do with games, it’s just me, I’m a perfectionist, what we’re going after, just triple-A. Everything all culminated into, ‘Oh my god, it’s time to take a break. It’s just time to step away,”’ Straley said in the interview.

This appears to inform the stated goals of Wildflower Interactive.

The new gaming company’s website takes time to outline the importance of building a positive culture and the desire to “change the way things are done.”