Bruce Straley, a co-director on The Last Of Us and multiple games within the Uncharted franchise, has formed a new studio called Wildflower Interactive. “It seems so simple and obvious,” Straley said of the studio’s mission statement: Good People Making Good Games. “But that’s really what it’s all about. Let’s enjoy our work and appreciate the people we get to work with.” He continues: “Starting something new means we get to change the way things are done – with the games we make, the culture we grow, and processes we use for both.”
Straley and his team intend to make “‘small-ish,’ creatively-charged, uniquely-stylized games that explore the possibilities of our medium.” The studio aims to develop “a small, open-hearted team of creators that want to improve their skills and still lead a good life outside of work.”
Serving as director of Wildflower Interactive, Straley is joined by a wealth of industry veterans. These include lead animator Almudena Soria Sancho, designers Liz Fiacco and Nicholas Lance, visual effects artist Doug Holder, and producer Vivian Alcala. The team has a number of notable gaming credits to their names, including Abzu, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Astroneer, Call Of Duty, and Pathless.
The studio has further confirmed work on their first game is “under way and we’ve got the backing to help us grow.” Going forward, Wildflower is “hiring for just a few key full-time positions, but [will] be continuing to ramp up as the year goes on.”
In a video message to accompany the announcement, Straley affirms that Wildflower Interactive needs to be “inclusive, equitable, and collaborative, full of big-hearted people who want to grow both professionally and personally. The culture needs to be as iterative as the way we make games.”
The last statement speaks volumes to a crunch culture within the video game industry – and Straley’s vision to ensure, from the outset, that such a culture does not exist within Wildflower. Recently, as GameLuster reported, a Naughty Dog dev discussed the development of The Last Of Us Part 1 and revealed that no crunch was required to complete the remake.
For more on upcoming studios, games, and all things in between, stay tuned right here at GameLuster.