Uncharted 3 lead game designer Richard Lemarchand is leaving Naughty Dog after eight years at the studio.
Lemarchand told Gamasutra he's moving on to join the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, where he'll be teaching at the Interactive Media Division, which trained thatgamecompany's Kellee Santiago and Jenova Chen.
As well as teaching, Lemarchand will be working on experimental games as part of a research project. "In other words, I'll be surrounded by awesome people, talking craft and philosophy, and building strange new things," he said.
Explaining the timing of the move, he commented: "I think the simplest answer is that it seems like a natural transition point. I was involved with the development of the Uncharted series not quite from the beginning, but almost... and even though the Uncharted series isn't intended to be viewed as a trilogy, maybe there's something about the number three that felt... there is a certain amount of completeness for me.
"I've always loved the experimental and avant-garde," Lemarchand added. "I wanted to try to make a game in that sphere for the best part of a decade, now."
Sony said last week that lifetime sales of all four Uncharted games stood at 17.32 million copies as of April 13, 2012.
It revealed the latest sales data alongside an upcoming Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Game of the Year Edition, which will feature the award-winning cinematic adventure and all 14 pieces of DLC released to date.