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 he's 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 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 if we're 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 we're doing it!".
While Straley didn't offer any hints as to what Wildflower Interactive's first project will be, the studio's website says it's focused on making "'small-ish', creatively-charged, uniquely-stylised games that explore the possibilities of our medium".
Wildflower's 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 we're doing and is going to help us reach the broadest audience possible".
"I'm super-excited about what we're building over here," he added. "We're making something I've never played before and I hope you'll check us out."