Uncharted designer Richard Lemarchand quits Naughty Dog

To teach at University of Southern California.

Uncharted designer Richard Lemarchand has quit Naughty Dog after eight years at the Sony-owned developer.

He's joined the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California to teach at the Interactive Media Division, Gamasutra reported (and Lemarchand himself has confirmed).

The Interactive Media Division trained Journey developers Kellee Santiago and Jenova Chen. Lemarchand will also work on experimental games as part of a research project.

"I think the simplest answer is that it seems like a natural transition point," Lemarchand said of his decision to leave Naughty Dog.

"I was involved with the development of the Uncharted series not quite from the beginning, but almost... and even though the Uncharted series isn't intended to be viewed as a trilogy, maybe there's something about the number three that felt... there is a certain amount of completeness for me.

"For about 10 years now, I've wanted to make a different kind of game, alongside my professional practice. I've always really loved working on the kinds of blockbuster AAA games that I've had the opportunity to work on, and I think I've been exceptionally lucky - it's partly by luck and a little bit of judgment I've gotten to work on big games that are also, I think, real exemplars in terms of craft, and hopefully, ultimately, with some transcendent aspects to them."

He added: "I've always loved the experimental and avant-garde. I wanted to try to make a game in that sphere for the best part of a decade, now."

Lemarchand joined Naughty Dog in June 2004 as a lead designer, working on 2005 PS2 game Jak X: Combat Racing. He then went on to work on all three PlayStation 3 Uncharted games in various design roles. Before working at Naughty Dog Lemarchand spent nearly a decade at Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics, working on the Legacy of Kain series and Gex.

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