As I close this chapter with a heavy heart and an appreciation for everything Naughty Dog has done for me, I open the next with an excitement to continue the journey into the creative process. I don’t have anything to announce just yet, but I look forward to the discovery and to sharing it with you all soon.
|Starting a new indie studio||170||18.99%|
|Novel or screenplay writing||51||5.70%|
|Directing stage plays, TV episodes, and/or films||47||5.25%|
|Taking over the CEO Kaz Hirai Twitter account||481||53.74%|
|Voters: 895. You may not vote on this poll|
Itís impossible to summarize 18 of the most influential years of my career in a blog post, but here we are ó today, with the heaviest of hearts, I am announcing my departure from Naughty Dog.
This has been the hardest decision of my career. Naughty Dog is home. The Kennel is family. Iíve learned and grown so much from working with this incredible team. But after heading up three extremely demanding projects, and taking some extended time away from the office, I found my energy focusing in other directions, and I slowly realized this was the signal that itís time to move on.
I joined the Kennel in 1999 as a texture artist on Crash Team Racing. Back before Naughty Dog even had a coffee maker. I was employee #15. From day one, I knew I was surrounded by some of the most talented, driven, and passionate people in the industry. They were pushing themselves to do things beyond what they even thought was possible, which in turn pushed me, and I loved it! I mean, it was also extremely intimidating, but the energy and determination to make something great, something we could all be proud of, was infectious. And thatís the way it still is to this day.
Iím leaving Naughty Dog with the strongest team itís ever had, and thatís saying a lot. But more than the talent, itís the people that Iíll miss the most. The work culture at Naughty Dog is about getting out of your seat and solving problems together. Itís what has allowed me to build so many friendships and gain so much respect for this stellar group of people. I get it¨ óďitís just workĒ ó but when you spend as much time as we do together, in the pressure cooker of creative work and deadlines, you really get to know a person. And Iíve had my share of difficult and humbling moments. But having the privilege to see people grow beyond their concept of whatís possible for themselves technically, creatively, and personally has been the most rewarding aspect of my job and continues to motivate me to do the same. Iím so proud to have been a part of this team. I canít wait to see what they create in the future.
With the deepest gratitude ó thank you to everyone Iíve gotten to work with over the years. Iíll miss you and your energy profoundly. Thanks to Andy and Jason for taking a chance on me and setting the bar. Thanks to Amy and Neil for being great creative partners. Thanks to Christophe for all the support and inspiration ó Iíve learned so much from you. And an extra special thanks to Evan Wells. You were the first person I met who truly inspired me to believe in the power of gaming, and if not for you I may never have made it to Naughty Dog in the first place. My appreciation goes way beyond what words can say.
And a sincere thanks to the fans. Knowing I was a part of creating something that touched or moved any of you made this whole thing worthwhile ó and now I, too, get to anticipate the next Naughty Dog masterpiece!
As I close this chapter with a heavy heart and an appreciation for everything Naughty Dog has done for me, I open the next with an excitement to continue the journey into the creative process. I donít have anything to announce just yet, but I look forward to the discovery and to sharing it with you all soon.
Dog for life,
(note: I still haven't played through Lost Legacy)
Hope he gets more opportunities to direct games!
Also if I can plug Blood, Sweat, and Pixels for a moment, there is a whole chapter on the insane workload and burnout of working on Uncharted 4 - especially for a studio of perfectionists aiming to create a GOTY contender.
Frankly not at all surprised, based on his insane level of involvement after already being heavily involved with The Last of Us. I wish him well wherever he ends up!
Word, they seem to be very close colleagues and collaborators and have great chemistry together. I'm sure neither of them is excited to give up the working relationship.
Man, the fucking Druckmann jokes aren't the least funny, just so you know.