The Last of Us’ Lead Character Artist Leaves Naughty Dog Studio
Yet another major Naughty Dog team member has departed from the studio.
Polygon reports that The Last of Us' lead character artist, Michael Knowland, has left the studio after completing his work on The Last of Us and after doing the character design on its Left Behind downloadable content. Naughty Dog has employed Knowland for his art for the past three years, with two years of that time focused on development for The Last of Us. This rather quiet departure makes us think that that Knowland was contracted specifically for development on The Last of Us and simply left Naughty Dog after the game was finished, presumably on amicable terms with the studio.
Knowland's departure comes fresh off of the recent announcement that Naughty Dog lead artist Nate Wells has also left the studio and is now working at Giant Sparrow. Along with the departure of its lead artist and lead character artist, Naughty Dog has also lost game director Justin Richmond, who has joined League of Legends' Riot Games studio, and Amy Hennig, the Uncharted trilogy writer and game director who has moved on to Visceral Games (of Dead Space fame) to work on its unannounced Star Wars game. Unfortunately, Michael Knowland has not publicly announced any of his future projects or if he has any other studios lined up to work for after Naughty Dog.