He’s been on sabbatical for a year, but Naughty Dog veteran Bruce Straley will not be returning to the kennel. After spending 18 years at the Californian company, The Last of Us and Uncharted director has called time on his tenure at the award-winning studio. There’s no word on what he’ll do next, but we’re sure that we’ll be hearing all about that in due time.

Straley’s story with Naughty Dog dates all the way back to 1999, where he was recruited to work as a texture artist on Crash Team Racing. He worked on various Jak & Daxter titles, before going on to co-art direct Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. But his big break came as game director on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which would go on to win a spate of awards.

Of course, Straley will probably be best known for his partnership with Neil Druckmann on The Last of Us and latterly Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. It’s a shame to see the double-act broken up so to speak, but we already knew he wouldn’t be involved with The Last of Us: Part II, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy has proven there’s a new crop of talent at Naughty Dog hungry to come through.

Still, we wish Straley all the best – he'll forever be Naughty Dog royalty as far as we're concerned.

[via naughtydog.com, naughtydog.com]