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The Last of Us artist Nate Wells departs Naughty Dog to join indie team

Above: Naughty Dog's The Last of Us in action.

Image Credit: Naughty Dog

The man responsible for the postapocalyptic visuals in The Last of Us is giving up the bad dog for a big bird.

Nate Wells, who previously worked as the art director on the PlayStation 3 survival hit The Last of Us, left developer Naughty Dog earlier this month. He is now working at indie studio Giant Sparrow. That company is best known for producing The Unfinished Swan, which is a 2012 abstract puzzler for the PlayStation 3 and Vita that has players throwing globs of black paint onto a pure white world to reveal the terrain. Giant Sparrow is currently working on a new game for Sony consoles, and Wells will likely oversee the visual design for the upcoming release.

The art director revealed his new gig on Twitter:

This job comes after Wells spent two years with Naughty Dog. He joined that team in August 2012 and spent the bulk of his time at the company leading the art division on The Last of Us.

Before that, the developer spent 13 years at BioShock studio Irrational Games. He worked on releases like System Shock 2, SWAT 4, and Tribes: Vengeance with that Boston-based company.

As a followup to The Unfinished Swan, Giant Sparrow is making a game it is calling Edith Finch. Wells is likely already working on that.

“It’s not a sequel to The Unfinished Swan, but it’s not a million miles away either,” a studio blog from March 2013 reads. “If you like surreal experiences and games that aren’t much like anything you’ve ever played before then you’ll probably like [Edith Finch].”

Giant Sparrow has a three-game agreement with Sony, so it will still need to produce one more product for PlayStation consoles once it releases Finch.

As for Naughty Dog, Wells’s departure marks the latest in a number of big-name departures from the studio. In March, Uncharted 4 director Justin Richmond left to join League of Legends developer Riot Games. Earlier that month, Uncharted writer and creative director Amy Hennig moved on from Naughty Dog. She eventually ended up at Dead Space developer Visceral Games where she will oversee a new Star Wars project.

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More information:

Naughty Dog, Inc. is an United States video game developer based in Santa Monica, California. It operates as wholly-owned Subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA). Naughty Dog was founded by Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin ... read more »

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