Nate Wells leaves Naughty Dog

The Last of Us art director joins Unfinished Swan maker Giant Sparrow

The high-profile employee churn at Naughty Dog continued over the weekend, as The Last of Us art director Nate Wells confirmed through Twitter that he has taken a new job with Giant Sparrow.

"Hmmm....seem to be some threads here. Yes, I joined the wild, wacky, and ultimately brilliant folks at #GiantSparrow on April 3rd," Wells wrote.

Wells' profile lists him as the new art director for the studio behind the 2012 exclusive PlayStation 3 game The Unfinished Swan. Giant Sparrow is working on an unannounced game it describes as "not a sequel to The Unfinished Swan but... not a million miles away either."

Wells is the third key Naughty Dog developer to leave the studio this year. Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig left the studio in March amid reports that she was forced out (reports Naughty Dog would quickly deny). Later that month, Uncharted 4 director Justin Richmond departed for a role with League of Legends developer Riot Games.

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Latest comments (6)

Jamie Read 3D Artist, Neon Play Ltd5 years ago
Not enitrely sure what's going on over at ND, but these recent departures seem to be adding up to more than just a coinsidence. Perhaps there is a shake-up happening? Either way, ND can and will continue to attract top talent.
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Tim Sormin Animator, Digital Extremes5 years ago
Hard to say whether three people is more than coincidence of personal choices. It's only interesting because all three were rather senior. You're right, though. Case in point:
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 5 years ago
Its funny how so many people are losing their jobs and other that have good positions are leaving them. I know people are eeger to do their own thing, but breaking companies up and forming new ones doesnt always result in that happening. And a few people have left Naughty Dog in a rather short time. All had very solid positions their, It cant be coincedince.
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Sandy Lobban Founder, Noise Me Up5 years ago
If you want to progress in your career on a personal level and feel challenged and satisfied on a daily basis, you've got to take a jump into something new. Simple as that I'd say. Career progress from their position in the company was probably unlikely due to the corporate world of Sony and its shareholders hovering just above their heads.
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
I don't know how many people are leaving Naughty Dog or why, but what it really demonstrates in my opinion is just how mobile people and their skills are in the industry. Definitely great challenges and rewards ahead.
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well - lets speculate that if one were told to do anotehr 2-3 last of us spin offs and another uncharted, would that seem inspired or stagnant?
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