One of the key members of the Naughty Dog development team behind The Last Of Us isn’t currently working on the recently announced sequel’s development. Bruce Straley, who co-directed The Last of Us and Uncharted 4, will not return to the director’s chair for The Last of Us Part II, Sony has informed Kotaku.
Concerned fans should know that the highly anticipated follow-up isn’t exactly being handed over to a series newcomer, though. Neil Druckmann, who co-directed The Last of Us and Uncharted 4 alongside Straley, is said to be serving as director on The Last of Us Part II while Straley takes a yearlong leave of absence from game development.
“Bruce recently decided to take some much deserved time off after shipping two critically acclaimed games in the last few years,” reads a statement from publisher Sony. “He’s looking forward to returning to the studio soon and jumping back in on his next project.”
Sony and Naughty Dog announced The Last of Us Part II on Saturday at the PlayStation Experience even in Anaheim, Calif. Ellie, who was an NPC for most of the first game, is set to star as the sequel’s protagonist. Druckmann previously announced that he would be co-writing the game along with a writer from HBO’s Westworld.
The Last of Us Part II does not currently have a release window, but Naughty Dog has noted that it is very early in development.