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Jason Rubin set to exit Naughty Dog

Studio president bows out days after controversial DICE Summit speech.

The forthcoming Jak III will be the last game that Jason Rubin works on at developer Naughty Dog, with the studio president planning to leave the SCEA-owned company once the game is finished.

Rubin's announcement of his decision to exit Naughty Dog comes only days after he gave a controversial and rousing speech at the DICE Summit calling on developers to unite as a community and criticising publishers for weakening the industry by failing to appreciate and promote talent.

However, Rubin was quick to point out that his decision to leave Naughty Dog is not related to the company's owner and publisher, Sony Computer Entertainment America, for whom he says he has "nothing but appreciation".

"The speech [at DICE] was directed at the industry in general, not one company," he explained. "But in the future, in order to realize the goals I outlined in my talk, I need to expand my reach outside of Naughty Dog’s parameters."

Rubin spoke at DICE about restructuring the industry so that developers would wield more power over the direction of the business, by promoting the talent found in the studios and getting developers to collaborate and communicate - in effect giving a voice to the development industry and making developer brands as important, if not more important, than publisher brands.

The Naughty Dog president, whose game credits include the Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter titles, says that he does not yet have any firm plans outside the company, but that one area he will be exploring is the relationship between Hollywood and the games industry.

"Instead of focusing my energy on making games under tight deadlines, I want to build relationships with people outside of this sector," he said. "That will enable the gaming industry to integrate itself into other areas that will prove to be profitable. That's just not possible in my present situation."

However, he believes that his departure should not be seen as a major blow to Naughty Dog. "The truth is that Naughty Dog is a well-oiled machine - it practically runs itself," he explained. "I now want to take on new challenges and create something new. I want to refuel my passion for the business of gaming."

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