Naughty Dog have hired a new Animator following two months of departures.
Former Animation Director for Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed III, Jonathan Cooper, joined the Santa Monica based studio in March, according to his LinkedIn profile, first spotted by Game Informer.
He also previously held positions with BioWare, working on Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, as well Edios Montreal.
Cooper’s hiring comes after what has been an eventful two months for the studio, which saw four employees depart the studio and one actor leave an upcoming production.
Over two weeks ago, Michael Knowland, a Lead Character Artist left the studio after more than 2 years employed. The week prior to that, Nate Wells, a Lead Artist, also departed and joined Giant Sparrow, developers of The Unfinished Swan.
Just hours after Wells’ departure surfaced, Todd Strashwick, an actor/writer who voiced an unidentified character for the teaser trailer for Naughty Dog’s upcoming fourth installment in the Uncharted series, Uncharted 4, revealed that he had left the project after his role was recast.
4 weeks prior to that, Justin Richmond, Game Director of Uncharted 3, departed also, joining League of Legends developer Riot Games.
And back in March, Amy Hennig, Creative Director at Naughty Dog and writer for the Uncharted series, left the studio after 10 years with the studio. She has joined Visceral Games and EA as Creative Director for an upcoming Star Wars project.
When news of her departure broke, sources told IGN that Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, writer and director of The Last of Us, had “forced” her out of the company, something that Naughty Dog later denied.
We’ve reached out numerous times to both Naughty Dog and Sony for comment on the departures and whether or not Uncharted 4 is going to be affected and whether there is some sort of restructuring going on but our emails have gone unanswered.