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UC4 Game Director Justin Richmond Leaves ND (And famousmortimer leaves GAF #1393)

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WolfForager

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Druckmann has been doing nothing but TLoU since Uncharted 2 shipped up through the release of Left Behind.

He obviously has a large say in what goes on at Naughty Dog though, he's their trump card at the moment. I'm just saying he made a suggestion, the presidents liked it and presented it to Henning and Richmond.
 

DangerMouse

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team ico has been helping on stuff like Rain & Knack, Media Molecule has given us LBP and Tearaway games, Sony's gotten into VR, RAD is making an exclusive PS4 game for Sony, Sucker Punch gained status with infamous 1&2 last gen and now Second Son, Evolution started motorstorm and now driveclub...etc etc....

things change and evolve all the time

Yup, and then to add on to all that they're still partnered with Quantic Dream one of their most successful new partnerships from last gen (who they should definitely buy and make first party, especially with how much of a partnership they've seemingly built).

And both Superbot and Incognito didn't deliver and Jaffe's not even at Incognito (or even it's partial successor ESP) anymore, if they're even still alive.

And as far as Ninja Theory goes, I'm not sure why he even listed them, they only made one exclusive for Sony and they haven't done any exclusives since Heavenly Sword since both Enslaved and DmC were multplats.
Plus wasn't there a rumor that that regardless whatever else they are doing they were also working on another bigger game after DmC shipped? For all he knows that could even be a Sony game since we know absolutely nothing about it even whether or not it even exists, though if they do make a next-gen game it'd probably be multiplat since they've been that for some time now.
 

UnObtainium17

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i dont see no daryll anywhere

 
Mar 1, 2012
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My theory:

Druckman wanted Uncharted to go for a darker, grittier tone for the next generation, the co-presidents agreed and asked Richmond and Henning to comply. Richmond and Henning complied originally but as time went on they become more and more disillusioned with the idea, eventually they left.

people keep suggesting this when there isn't actually a real reason to think that would happen. just because he made the last of us doesn't mean he's going to exclusively make bleak serious games for the rest of his life. he's a creative guy, he's capable of doing more than one genre.

if anything, after the last of us you'd think that he would want to do something more lighthearted. you see that all the time.
 

StuBurns

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Jan 9, 2008
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Why has Druckmann become the meme/defacto king of ND, not Straley too?

The (presumably bullshit) rumour cited them both as being responsible.
 

Popup

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Oct 20, 2007
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It seems the silence surrounding the announcements speaks the loudest. Surely the gossip news articles will follow and in comes company damage control to control the damage it helped create in the first place?

When will these companies ever learn to communicate properly in situations like these? Each of these recent announcements has created yet another random dot for people to try to join but still no official picture being provided. Surely it's better to create some kind of perspective rather than conjecture?
 

Cyberia

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Speaking of Guerilla Cambridge: i just spotted a Linkedin profile from a concept artist who mentions they're working on a new project since July 2013.
 
Dec 11, 2012
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My theory:

Druckman wanted Uncharted to go for a darker, grittier tone for the next generation, the co-presidents agreed and asked Richmond and Henning to comply. Richmond and Henning complied originally but as time went on they become more and more disillusioned with the idea, eventually they left.

Druckman has been working on The Last of Us right up until Left Behind went gold. That's four+ years

I don't think he has much to do with anything.
 

vpance

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Guerrilla Games will be untouched by the house cleaning, and other studios will suffer because Shadowfall sold well thanks entirely to aggressive bundling.

They've never delivered on the promise of what a first party FPS franchise like Killzone could be, yet for some reason Sony still give them a AAA budget to ship a middling 2 million units for their games. Being technically capable isn't enough when you're going to be compared to Battlefield, Call of Duty and Halo.

They should've shuttered the place and flushed Killzone down the toilet at the end of the last generation. Guerrilla Cambridge's vita game was the best entry that franchise has ever had, they should expand that studio instead.

GG guys must be part of some good ol boys network going on over at SCEE. Their RPG better not flop.
 

Acquiescence

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Why has Druckmann become the meme/defacto king of ND, not Straley too?

The (presumably bullshit) rumour cited them both as being responsible.

Because Neil has the slick black hair and beard combo that makes him look like an uber-villian.
 

WolfForager

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people keep suggesting this when there isn't actually a real reason to think that would happen. just because he made the last of us doesn't mean he's going to exclusively make bleak serious games for the rest of his life. he's a creative guy, he's capable of doing more than one genre.

if anything, after the last of us you'd think that he would want to do something more lighthearted. you see that all the time.

Aye, maybe not a darker tone, but a different direction then.

Why has Druckmann become the meme/defacto king of ND, not Straley too?

The (presumably bullshit) rumour cited them both as being responsible.

It probably was mostly bullshit but where there's smoke, there's fire. That he was directly involved is most likely false, but he may have had an indirect and unintentional hand in it though.

EDIT: I should probably say that I'm just looking at possible reasons here, not that I whole heartedly believe all this.
 

Plinko

Wildcard berths that can't beat teams without a winning record should have homefield advantage
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I'm just going to pretend that he demanded to work on a new Jak and Daxter game, they refused, and he did the right thing and left.
 

RyuHei

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The next person will step up. If the game becomes successful, the person gets another chance. We'll get to know them, and they're either known for great success, or ultimate failure. How do you find talents in the industry? By giving a potential person the chance to step up and show their worth.
 
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lol, I love how Druckmann is now like a super villain. The guy probably has nothing to do with this. I can only imagine his twitter blowing up right now.

On one hand its funny as hell to read but on the other its messed up for the guy due to the people who might take it seriously.
 

Salz01

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Jan 21, 2010
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lol, I love how Druckmann is now like a super villain. The guy probably has nothing to do with this. I can only imagine his twitter blowing up right now.

This made me laugh. Because it's true. The guy is probably just doing his job, probably good at it, but comes off as a super villain.
 

shwimpy

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Speaking of Guerilla Cambridge: i just spotted a Linkedin profile from a concept artist who mentions they're working on a new project since July 2013.
Shu said EVERY single WWS was working on a PS4 game... not hard to believe.
 

Wynnebeck

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Aug 5, 2012
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Yeah, they only created the world's most popular videogame, as well as the world's most popular professionally played and watched videogame. The last big League of Legends event had over half a million people watching live on Twitch, no innovation needed there!

lol This is going OT, but it's of my opinion that Dota 2 shits on LoL from great heights. That doesn't take away from Riot though. They managed to hit that F2P crowd that ate it up. I see it as the Maple Story of MOBAs, successful, but not really going out of its way to differentiate itself from other games.
 

AlphaDump

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"I love the company and the people and know that they will continue to create awesome games going forward. On a happier note, after careful consideration and exploration I have joined Riot Games. There is some really innovative stuff going on here that I can't wait to be a part of."

Maybe poaching for the FaceRift?
 

KoopaTheCasual

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Jun 5, 2013
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Connecting dots where they don't need to be connected.



Stig and his team spent almost 100 million dollars on a game that failed every QA test that took. The game sucked. They shitcanned the game and a lot of the people involved. They offered stig a spot on barlog's project - he didn't want to go from game director to something lesser so he quit.

This makes sense, right? Shitty game, money wasted, people fired, head guy leaves out of ego? I mean that all makes sense.


Amy Hennig has creative differences about the direction that UC4 should go in. Egos swell, she leaves. She's happy, she will make another studio much better when she gets there. Justin Richmond, an ally of Hennig's, gets an offer he can't refuse from Riot. He leaves.

These things happen. Naughty Dog is going to be fine. UC4 will still be awesome. Riot will be better with the pickup of Richmond and whoever gets Hennig will be better off. The sky isn't falling.


Guerilla Cambridge is working on a vita game that is shit and won't sell. They slim down as they retool for another project.

Again - this isn't new. This happens a lot.


The director of Driveclub doesn't deliver the game on time. Given more time the game still needs work. He is replaced.



Wouldn't you replace him? Wouldn't you shitcan stig's project that cost them almost 100 mil and had nothing of value to show for it? In fact they should have done it two years ago. The fact they let it go this far is a testament to how much they believed in him after GoW 3.


And all of this is happening before the fiscal year ends. Is sony trimming fat? Of course. Sony corporation is not in a great spot. So they are tightening up a bit. But a lot of people are connecting dots that don't need to be connected. Hennig/Richmond is about creative differences and ego. Stig is about wasted money and time. Col Rogers (driveclub) is about failing to deliver. Taken on their own they all make sense. Combine them together and you get glenn beck with a chalkboard.


And Jack Tretton was about money and inability to move up. He will make more money and have more power somewhere else - something Sony simply could not offer him. Shit happens.


It's the same with the xbox department guys. People move around. People leave for other companies. Shit happens.
Thanks so much for the insight, Mort. I was starting to fall into the tin foil hattery. Sounds like Sony is just tightening ship in general. But man, that info on Stig's project is really sad. So they really did give him all the chances they could financially afford, and his project still was a mess. That's a shame for everyone involved.

I really hope this doesn't effect how much freedom that WWS gives their devs. Such crappy timing for their big time studios to run into random hiccups.
 

ultratruman

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Oct 28, 2013
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The thing is... guerilla does what they do for relatively cheap. They also work directly with the ICE team to help with tools. They also haven't released a game that has lost money.


While I agree with you about the quality of killzone, i don't agree with the rest. You don't fuck with a team doing that much for you.

So don't shutter them, turn them into a middleware studio.

'Not losing money' sounds like cold comfort when you look at the numbers on the board for Halo and multiplatform FPS games. Guerilla Games might be cheap, but it's dead money if they're not building a brand. Shadowfall would've sold terribly had it not been gifted such a crucial launch slot.
 

Vire

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For you Druckman/Straley super villain loonies out there...

From the Narrative Design Lead at Naughty Dog:



most likely taken completely out of context. stahp
 

MyLifeIsALie

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Oct 13, 2013
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Why would they keep the two people mostly(they were the leads werent they?) responsible for the uncharted series going down hill? I mean, they spent years making that game adn it was worse arguably then the other two, then the other guys make the last of us and its amazing, why keep around other leads that arent up to snuff? give the chance to some new talent or some one else.

That seems to be what sony is doing, cutting people who arent delivering on the quality sony wants.

I mean some of the big guys from ssm and naughty dog, and evolution all let go i am assuming. Sony is trying to keep the quality of their games up, and that makes sense if they get rid of people who arent doing that quality.
 

EmptySpace

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On one hand its funny as hell to read but on the other its messed up for the guy due to the people who might take it seriously.
bottom line we don't know what happened. as someone said where there's smoke there's fire. to say druckmann had zero involvement "because that's what nd posted in its blog" as proof is seriously naive.

now i wanna know what'll happen to the bts videos of uncharted ps4. will they edit out both amy and justin?

people saying this is normal, really? 2 high level people just left the project midway. they aren't qa testers or people who make 3d models. these are peeps who make the decisions, who create the ideas.
 

RedRedSuit

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Why would they keep the two people mostly(they were the leads werent they?) responsible for the uncharted series going down hill? I mean, they spent years making that game adn it was worse arguably then the other two, then the other guys make the last of us and its amazing, why keep around other leads that arent up to snuff? give the chance to some new talent or some one else.

That seems to be what sony is doing, cutting people who arent delivering on the quality sony wants.

I mean some of the big guys from ssm and naughty dog, and evolution all let go i am assuming. Sony is trying to keep the quality of their games up, and that makes sense if they get rid of people who arent doing that quality.

Uncharted 3 has a 90+ Metascore and sold very well. It is unreasonable to call that "not delivering" or "going downhill." Oh, and it shipped on time without any BS. It wasn't as good as Uncharted 2, no, but it did absolutely nothing to hurt that brand in the public eye. It kept it going at a high level. Perspective -- it's good to have some.

Now... losing $75m and then getting canceled... that's a problem.
 

Animal

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I suspect that we are witnessing the first ever true failing of the Naughty Dog management style. He is not the first to leave recently as you all know.

Everyone's opinion is as important unless someone says otherwise at Naughty Dog. That's all nice and great when everyone is happy and honest but completely falls apart when entire teams disagree on things.

"Cliques" have probably formed in the studio and things are getting nasty.
 

dragonbane

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Why has Druckmann become the meme/defacto king of ND, not Straley too?

The (presumably bullshit) rumour cited them both as being responsible.
Because he is in the limelight most of the time. But you are correct, we shouldn't let Straley of the hook. He is just as much responsible for all the lay-offs.


For you Druckman/Straley super villain loonies out there...

From the Narrative Design Lead at Naughty Dog:



most likely taken completely out of context. stahp
Wow, so good.
 

Haunted

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Stig and his team spent almost 100 million dollars on a game that failed every QA test that took. The game sucked. They shitcanned the game and a lot of the people involved.

Stig is about wasted money and time.
Do we have a GAF thread or other article about this? I'm curious.
 

B.O.O.M

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Jan 12, 2012
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I don't know what cambridge is working on. I don't think they know. I think they slimmed down as they figure out what they are doing next. If/when that's approved, they will hire people again. Many studios operate like this. Especially lower-tier ones like GC.
.

gosh you stalkers are scary :p

I REALLY REALLY want them to work on another vita game.... :( but seeing how SCEE and SCEA is treating the system I guess that's not very likely right?


Hey Mort..any news on that rumored infamous vita game? Or is that canned too?
 
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