The Guy Behind Uncharted 2's Epic Train Sequence Now Works at Infinity Ward
Jacob Minkoff quits Naughty Dog to join Call of Duty studio; 10-year Naughty Dog veteran Taylor Kurosaki also joins Infinity Ward.
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Two prominent Naughty Dog developers have quit the Uncharted and The Last of Us studio to join Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward. Taylor Kurosaki, a ten-year Naughty Dog veteran who most recently served as narrative design lead at the studio, now works at Infinity Ward as its narrative director for an unspecified project. Joining Kurosaki at Infinity Ward from Naughty Dog is Jacob Minkoff, a former lead game designer, who now works as a design director at the studio.
"Very psyched to share that I've joined the phenomenal team at Infinity Ward as the studio's narrative director," Kurosaki wrote on Twitter. To infinity and beyond!" Meanwhile, Minkoff confirmed his move to Infinity Ward on Twitter and said he's looking forward to being able to play Uncharted 4: A Thief's End as a fan.
You might not know Minkoff by name, but you're likely aware of his work; he designed and developed the epic train sequence in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Most recently, he served as lead designer on Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and The Last of Us.
Infinity Ward created the acclaimed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series, and most recently released Call of Duty: Ghosts, a new Call of Duty sub-brand, in 2013. Given that the Call of Duty series now on a three-year development cycle, it stands to reason that Infinity Ward's next Call of Duty game will launch in 2016.
Kurosaki and Minkoff aren't the only two high-profile Naughty Dog developers to leave the company this year. The pair's exit from Naughty Dog follows the departures of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End writer Amy Hennig and game director Justin Richmond earlier this year. Naughty Dog veterans Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley are now co-directing Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.
The move for Kurosaki and Minkoff isn't all that dramatic, at least in terms of where they will physically go to work every day. Naughty Dog (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Infinity Ward (Woodland Hills, Calif.) are separated only by a 25-minute drive.