Former Naughty Dog co-director announces new studio, Wildflower

Bruce Straley returns to the game industry with a new studio, Wildflower Interactive

For long-time fans of Naughty Dog, seeing industry vet Bruce Straley step away from game development in 2017 was a pretty devastating loss — he played a huge role in making Uncharted 2, Uncharted 4, and The Last of Us, after all. Now, five years later, Straley has just announced that he will be jumping back into the world of game development by forming his very own studio known as Wildflower Interactive.

“Wildflower starts with everything I created, pushed and learned about gameplay, characters and story, and directing teams while at Naughty Dog — but applied to a smaller studio to keep communication easy and creatively fluid,” Straley says.

“I’ve surrounded myself with an amazing group — some new faces, some old colleagues — that are pushing our concepts of what kind of game we want to create, the process we use to make it, the kind of team and culture we all want to be a part of, and what giving back to our industry ultimately looks like.”

Straley even created a video to give us a little insight into his process of creating the studio, which all started with an idea that he and some colleagues were bouncing around. When they realized that that game was something they had to make, well, that’s how Wildflower was born.

As someone who really admires Straley’s work, it’s really cool to not only see him return, but to see him looking genuinely happy to do so. Based on ideas he’s shared in the past for the kinds of games he wants to make, I’ll be interested to see how Wildflower shakes things up in the future.

Straley said that the studio is going to “go silent for a bit” to “focus on building the team and game,” but I know we’ll have a ton to look forward to from them in the future.

Noelle Warner