When it rains it pours.
Shortly after Uncharted Creative Director Amy Hennig was confirmed as having left developer Naughty Dog, Game Director Justin Richmond has now revealed he will also be leaving the company. Richmond will take a post at League of Legends developer Riot Games.
Much like Hennig’s, no clear reason was provided as to why Richmond decided to leave Naughty Dog. Rather, in an official statement to IGN, Richmond expressed his love for the company before revealing his next adventure.
For those that might not recognize Richmond’s name right off the bat, he was an instrumental piece of both the Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 development teams. On Uncharted 2, Richmond was responsible for the game’s multiplayer, which was a surprisingly well received riff on the third person online shooter. Then, after finding success on the multiplayer side of things, Richmond took on the much larger role of Game Director for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. In other words, he worked closely with Creative Director Amy Hennig for a good portion of his time at Naughty Dog.
Now, Richmond will bring his experience working on one major franchise to another huge title, League of Legends. While League is certainly a different animal than Uncharted, there are likely some lessons learned at Naughty Dog that Richmond will be able to use at Riot Games.
Obviously, two departures within such a short amount of time might initially lead to concern, especially considering Naughty Dog has a next-gen Uncharted in the works, but both have seemingly been under amicable terms. It’s highly probable that both developers were merely look for a change of pace after working on a successful franchise for the past few years.
At the same time, though, it has been a while since Sony and Naughty Dog have said anything about that forthcoming Uncharted title. All we know at this point is that Todd Stashwick is providing a voice, and the story might involve pirates. We actually don’t even know if Nathan Drake will be the central protagonist of the story. However, if we don’t see more from the game at this year’s E3, then there might be time to panic.
Do you think there is any connection between the recent, big name departures from Naughty Dog? Does any of this have you concerned for Uncharted 4?