Two Veteran Designers from Naughty Dog Join Infinity Ward
Destructoid reports that both Taylor Kurosaki and Jacob Minkoff have announced on Twitter that they have parted ways with Naughty Dog and are going to Infinity Ward. Kurosaki was a narrative designer for many of Naughty Dog’s recent classics, putting in 12 years of experience at the studio. He now joins Infinity Ward, known for its widely popular Call of Duty franchise, as a narrative director.
Jacob Minkoff was a former lead game designer at Naughty Dog, who will be joining Infinity Ward as a design director. These two departures follow the Uncharted series’ writer and director, Amy Hennig, leaving the studio earlier this year to work at Visceral Games. Hennig is currently helming Visceral’s untitled ‘Star Wars’ game. Shortly after Hennig’s departure, Uncharted 4’s original director, Justin Richmond, left the company and went to Riot Games. The Last of Us’ game director, Neil Druckmann, and its creative director, Bruce Straley, are now leading the development of Uncharted 4.
Could these departures be the signs of a sinking ship? We doubt it. Mind you, Jason West, the former President, game director, CTO and co-CCO of Infinity Ward, and Frank Zampella, the co-founder of Infinity Ward and its former CEO, were both ousted by Activision in 2010. Upon their departures from Infinity Ward, dozens of their employees resigned as well, yet Infinity Ward was still able to bounce back and continue its work on the Call of Duty franchise.
Very psyched to share that I've joined the phenomenal team at @InfinityWard as the studio's narrative director. To infinity and beyond!
— Taylor Kurosaki (@taylorkurosaki) August 1, 2014
New job! Design Director at Infinity Ward. Love ND; can’t wait to play Uncharted 4 as a fan. Excited to work with the talented team at IW!
— Jacob Minkoff (@JacobMinkoff) August 1, 2014
Hopefully, Minkoff and Kurosaki can get their Call of Duty gun sound effects right.