It was announced earlier today that Naughty Dog lead designer Richard Lemarchand has left the company to pursue a teaching job at the University of Southern California. Lemarchand was one of the major minds behind the Uncharted series along, with Amy Hennig and his creative input will be severely missed.
Here is what Lemarchand had to say in a press release statement:
“I’ve always been a very hands-on game designer, And I’m a big believer that no matter what level you’re working at on a project, it’s a very great thing to be able to stay connected to the practical processes of building out a game.”
“I was involved with the development of the Uncharted series not quite from the beginning, but almost… and even though the Uncharted series isn’t intended to be viewed as a trilogy, maybe there’s something about the number three that felt… there is a certain amount of completeness for me.”
“For about ten years now, I’ve wanted to make a different kind of game, alongside my professional practice,” says Lemarchand. “I’ve always really loved working on the kinds of blockbuster AAA games that I’ve had the opportunity to work on, and I think I’ve been exceptionally lucky — it’s partly by luck and a little bit of judgment I’ve gotten to work on big games that are also, I think, real exemplars in terms of craft, and hopefully, ultimately, with some transcendent aspects to them.”
Lemarchand in addition said he has a desire to move away from AAA games and move onto to something smaller; at USC he will reportedly be working on experimental games through a research project. Naughty Dog has not yet announced his replacement.
What do you make of Naughty Dog’s future without Richard Lemarchand? Comments are welcome below.