Ex Naughty Dog Devs: Uncharted 4 "Is Going to Be Awesome;" "Super Excited" About it and Joining Infinity Ward

By Giuseppe Nelva

August 2, 2014

Yesterday we reported about former Naughty Dog Narrative Design Lead Taylor Kurosaki and Lead Game Designer Jacob Minkoff leaving the studio to take on Narrative Director and Design Director positions respectively at Infinity Ward, and as usual many started to build doom and gloom narratives about the departure, implicitly or explicitly linking it with those happened in the earlier months of the year.

Those scenarios definitely seem to have little ground in reality, especially considering the reaction of former colleagues at Naughty Dog, many of which expressed on Twitter their outpouring support for the Kurosaki and Minkoff, giving a nice example of how close-knit the team is despite natural departures that definitely happen in the industry.

Minkoff and Kurosaki themselves definitely seem to be very ready to support their former colleagues as gamers, expressing their excitement for Uncharted 4: A Ehief’s End and their support for their friends at Naughty Dog.

They also posted notes on their personal blogs. Here’s one from Minkoff:

Just a quick update. I’m back in LA. I went couch-surfing in the Peruvian jungle for a bit after finishing up Left Behind, but the jungle had a bit too much malaria for me. So, I’ve taken a new position as Design Director at Infinity Ward. Had a great run at Naughty Dog with all the fantastic people there, and I can’t wait to play Uncharted 4 as a fan. Excited to work with my longtime buddy and colleague Taylor Kurosaki and the rest of the talented team at IW!

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…And here’s Kurosaki’s:

Time sure does fly. I originally started at Naughty Dog in 1995, and after ten and-a-half consecutive years at the company, I’m saying goodbye. I’ve joined Infinity Ward, the creators of Call of Duty, as the studio’s narrative director. Luckily, I get to keep working with my buddy Jacob Minkoff who has also joined Infinity Ward as design director. I’ll miss all my great Naughty Dog friends and colleagues terribly. At least I finally get to play an Uncharted game as a fan. No spoilers!

Of course both are also very excited about the possibilities offered by their new jobs at Infinity Ward.

Th general atmosphere about the change in position seems to be definitely very far from “doom and gloom,” not only for Kurosaki and Minkoff, but also among their former and new colleagues.

Maybe it’s a good chance for many to understand that the gaming industry is a fluid place to work in, and developers do change affiliation quite often, without necessarily indicating widespread problems or “growing pains.”

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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