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Infinity Ward gobble up two of Naughty Dog’s best

Naughty Dog have seen the last of Minkoff and Kurosaki.

Two senior staff at Naughty Dog have left the Uncharted studio to join Call of Duty: Ghosts perpetrators Infinity Ward. Like, really senior staff.

Jacob Minkoff was lead designer on both The Last of Us and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – as well as Uncharted 2’s most memorable rolling setpiece, the train. He joins Infinity Ward as design director.

Taylor Kurosaki was Naughty Dog’s narrative design lead. He’ll occupy a similar role as narrative director at Activision’s oldest Call of Duty studio.

That’s two great minds vacating positions at a PlayStation-only studio to design multi-platform games: an unambiguous win for the PC. But it’s sort of bewildering to imagine leaving Naughty Dog in the year after The Last of Us for Infinity Ward in the wake of Call of Duty: Ghosts – the studio’s iffiest effort yet.

A month ago, we noticed that Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer is doing about half the numbers of its predecessor on Steam. But our Fraser was most vocally disappointed with Ghosts’ single player campaign – “the same dance we’ve seen countless times before”. Perhaps Kurosaki can help with that.

We recently saw Infinity Ward absorb Neversoft to create a “super-studio”. What lessons would you like to see them learn from the Tony Hawk lot? And the Uncharted blokes?

Thanks, CVG.

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