Naughty Dog Lead Game Designer and Narrative Design Lead Move to Infinity Ward

Call of Duty: Ghosts developer Infinity Ward has been on the prawl for new talent, and just hired two prominent designers from Naughty Dog, Narrative Design Lead Taylor Kurosaki and Lead Game Designer Jacob Minkoff.

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Death1537d ago

That is a lot of high ranking people in the last year to leave Naughty Dog.

xHeavYx1537d ago (Edited 1537d ago )

Well, to be honest, the "narrative design" position has probably been open since COD 4

Edvin19841537d ago

Ok I am pumped for the new COD I usually am, but that was funny. Thanks dude made my day haha.

ShinMaster1537d ago

They didn't leave Naughty Dog for Infinity Ward.

They were fired several months ago.

PS4FEVER1536d ago

Game design has been shit since mw1.

The Matrix1536d ago

@ xHeavYx - I logged in just to give bubbles.

Iamnemesis48801536d ago

Oh that deserves a bubble vote priceless

ChronoJoe1536d ago

Jacobs Minkov's work at ND isn't that impressive. Not a huge contribution to any of their recent games (just one or two chapters in The Last of Us / UC 3 and 2, and the chapter he worked on on UC3 was arguably the worst segment in the game. The portion of TLOU he worked on is also my least favourite (near the start of the game).

The level segments he works on seem very cinematic, for instance he was responsible for the train sequence in UC2, and the upside down trap sequence in TLOU but not very fun from a gameplay perspective in my opinion.

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-Foxtrot1537d ago

Jeez...what a down grade.

I mean come Infinity Ward

I know money comes into it but even if I was earning just a little less more money I would probably stick with ND, just to say I proudly work there.

Chard1537d ago

Plenty of worse developers out there than IW. It's the people that make a great game, and IW made amazing games back when they still had their original staff. No doubt they've suffered since the MW2 legal issues though.

Clogmaster1537d ago

Work is work when there are bills to pay.

Some moms didn't plan on prostitution.

LOGICWINS1537d ago

IW and Treyarch were the top two most popular devs of the last gen. COD was the best selling franchise on the PS3 and 360. I'd be pretty damn proud to be a developer for one of the biggest game franchises of all time.

700p1537d ago

but then you gotta think..IW games sell more..even if they're crap. Sad reality.

wsoutlaw871536d ago

They were laid off in february. They didnt leave nd to go to iw, they were unemployed.

ITPython1536d ago

@LOGICWINS - IW now is not the same IW that created COD4/MW2. Same name, but completely different devs. IW is now just that "other limited talent copy and paste dev" working on COD games, they are no more prominent than SledgeHammer or Treyarch (which were considered the inferior COD devs when they made them in comparison to the original IW who were the kings).

Respawn is actually where the original IW team ended up.

donthate1536d ago

The good news is Infinity Ward might just produce an awesome CoD single player experience now!

On the flip side, Naughty Dog is loosing talent really fast. It's a freaking mass exodus or something going on over there.

Neixus1536d ago


ND losing talent? like their games or not, but they are one of the most talented developers out there. They understand what their audience wants, then proceeds to make it ten times better.

MysticStrummer1536d ago

"Jeez...what a down grade.

I mean come Infinity Ward"

Cookie cutter assembly line work appeals to some people.

user56695101536d ago (Edited 1536d ago )

I said this before and the reason why tifanfall is like cod and get ton of disagrees. Destiny has the same flavor as halo and everyone except it I don't get it. But most try to deflect stuff you know why.

People in the tech field like to move on. It's on of the few fields where they don't shun it. You learn and move on. He maybe felt that's he hit a wall and wanted to be around something different to learn something new.

Another thing cod is a product of the publisher so you can't put the fault on the dev when Activision wants them to push out cod every year. Don't anyone pay attention to gaming the last couple of years newly formed studios have been saying how these devs are not trying anything new and don't let devs try new ideas. Why you think it's been a surge in crowd funding and early access games

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FanboyKilla1536d ago

Wow!?! can we honestly say this is the same naughty dog? this is ridiculous. its like guys walking around in hazmat suits, telling you everything is fine.

showtimefolks1536d ago

they were un-employee since Feb 2014, Its not a move , its not poaching its simply hiring

Meltic1536d ago

noooo no crash game meaby...

HumanatPlay1536d ago

Definitely not a loss for Naughty Dog but its a huge win for Infinity Ward and thats a huge win for fans of the franchise. I hope they bring something fresh to the series. It would be nice for COD to branch out into 3rd Person tactical warfare with a strong female lead like MGS3s Boss as team leader.

ForgivenZombie1536d ago

I think it's a waste of talent, after ghosts I will never buy another Infinity ward game ever. It is so bad, I don't believe anything can save IW imo.

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mhunterjr1537d ago

Great additions to a team that seems to be running out of ideas. Tough loss for ND, but I'm sure they'll have no problem rebuilding.

memots1536d ago

they were un-employee since Feb 2014, Its not a move , its not poaching its simply hiring.

Neixus1536d ago

I feel like they always got a even better person to take over the missing spots.

Just like how Neil Druckmann took over for Uncharted 4, god that man got talent. Just look at uncharted 2 and TLoU

Metallox1537d ago

Next Infinity Ward game confirmed to be a masterpiece then?

MegaRay1537d ago

No matter how many talented developers join CoD's team. CoD will always be trash (must likely because activition wont give them the time/budget needed)

LOGICWINS1537d ago

Trash to you. Millions of others disagree.

strangeaeon1537d ago

Well thanks Debbie Downer, and here I was with a tiny bit of optimism.

andibandit1536d ago

Good news to hear, considering getting the Remastered version a year later

user74029311537d ago

people come and go and im sure as long as they have there key people who make naughty dog what it is, they will be fine.

OldDude1537d ago

I have to wonder if Sony isn't putting ND under very tight financial constrictions. Too many people leaving to be just a coincidence, and they all seem to be people in important positions. Not trying to start a flame war, just something is obviously concerning.

Abriael1537d ago (Edited 1537d ago )

Those are leads moving to director roles. That's actually pretty normal in the industry. A studio can have only so many directors, so if you want to make that step, either you wait a long time until your director leaves, or you move somewhere else to make a career jump when you get offered the chance.

So no. Nothing concerning here.

SuperBlur1536d ago

Since it is Sledgehammer that is releasing a COD this year , that leaves Treyarch or IW to release a COD next year.. but what will the other team do ?


rambi801537d ago (Edited 1537d ago )

When you are part of (arguably) the best studio on the planet, you get a lot of offers.

Happens every year in sports, movies etc

OldDude1537d ago

I agree with both of you, but as a business owner (about 52 employees) its up to me to entice those people who work for me with incentives to keep them. Yes, a higher position in a good company is a strong lure, but as Rambi said they are arguably the best studio out there (they remind of the of the days you would buy a Squaresoft game just because they made it), there is also prestige in being part of that team. ND's talent is being targeted by other companies, and they don't seem to be able to hang on to them.

Abriael1537d ago (Edited 1537d ago )

@OldDude: ultimately if someone wants to make a career jump (and a jump to Director is a BIG jump. It means finally being in charge of a whole team and not just a sub-team) there isn't much you can do to make them stay, unless you fire the directors you already have, which obviously isn't done.

What can you offer them? More money? They're probably getting that at Activision as well, as the salary for a Director-level job is considerably higher than a lead.

rambi801537d ago (Edited 1537d ago )


Good points.

But you can't entice everyone who wants to leave. Otherwise you end up paying a lot in salaries. Some employees you do allow to leave at some point.

It worth noting though that while critical success had come to the studio, they dont do spectacular sales numbers (TLOU excepted) and these games are expensive to make. Activision can throw some serious cash around, Cash that Naughty Dog may not be able to compete with.

Death1537d ago

What is more important, more money or job security? As part of the ND team I would think you would have much better job security. Move to a directors position and underwhelm and you are unemployed. The people leaving ND are in high positions. This isn't a good sign, but we won't know if it has any impact until their next game ships.

DeadlyOreo1537d ago

Death is always quick to jump on negative Sony news. People fear-mongering will only be silenced when a game like Uncharted 4 comes out. I see it as a good thing as perhaps new companies can benefit from their talents.

GamingSinceThe80s1537d ago

After making a gem like the last of us,things can rely only go down hill from here.Look at Pixar they couldn't do wrong until a few films ago.Then they made crap like Brave and Cars 2.But I don't know if it was due to people leaving after say their high note that was Toy Story 3.But it seems something must have happened over there.Success has a way of killing greatness,time and time again.

Ulf1536d ago

Sony doesn't pay their 1st party as well as some other publishers pay some of their top tier teams, and that area of California is particularly harsh, with regards to cost-of-living.

There's no other reason. They're probably not unhappy at ND, except for the money, most likely.

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