The Last of Us Part II co-writer Josh Scherr is leaving Naughty Dog after 21 years

The Last of Us Part II co-writer Josh Scherr is leaving Naughty Dog after 21 years

Naughty Dog co-writer Josh Scherr has announced his departure from the Santa Monica-based development studio. After 21 years, he’s moving on for “something new.”

In an announcement on Twitter, he thanked his former coworkers and celebrated the games they’d worked on together. “I’m so grateful for your inspiration, your support, & your trust,” he wrote. “Thank you for putting up with my faults, forgiving my mistakes, & giving me opportunities to grow.”

“I’ll miss the Dogs a ton, but at some point, I’ll get to play a Naughty Dog game knowing very little in advance,” he added in a follow-up tweet. “And they are cooking up some *incredible* stuff.”

Scherr began working at Naughty Dog on the Jak and Daxter series, and would eventually become lead cinematic animator on Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. In 2016, he jumped departments to become a writer on Uncharted: A Thief’s End, and most recently contributed writing on The Last of Us Part II.

Here goes:

When I was a kid, making video games was my hobby. Never dreamed I’d get to make them for a living, let alone at a studio like Naughty Dog.

Last week, after 21 years & 10 shipped games, I said goodbye to my friends & c̶o̶l̶l̶i̶e̶s̶ colleagues at the kennel.

🧵1/3: pic.twitter.com/Pklxo2ACeu

— Josh Scherr (@joshscherr) July 15, 2022

A not-so-lost legacy at Naughty Dog

In 2017, Scherr was part of the Uncharted 4 writing team that won the Writer’s Guild Award for Outstanding Achievement in Video Game Writing. 

And at GDC 2018 (disclaimer, GDC is a sibling organization of Game Developer), Scherr offered a rare look at Naughty Dog’s story development process for the Uncharted 4 DLC Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Scherr’s long tenure at Naughty Dog is a rare feat for the video game industry, particularly for developers who aren’t in upper management or creative direction. It’ll be curious to see if his departure is part of a wave of industry veterans joining smaller-sized startups, or if he’s just found a great creative challenge at another major studio.

Whatever the case, Scherr’s likely to be a positive influence wherever he winds up. Replies to his goodbye message on Twitter were filled with friends and well-wishers congratulating him on a successful run.

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