Developer Naughty Dog has promoted Neil Druckmann, the director of The Last of Us Part 2, to the newly created position of company co-president.
Today, developer Naughty Dog announced that Neil Druckmann, the director of The Last of Us Part II, was promoted to co-president of the company. Druckmann has been with the developer since the mid 2000s and has left his creative mark on many of the titles that have come out since then.
Naughty Dog studios was established all the way back in 1984, but it did not become a power house in the gaming industry until the past decade. Known for franchises such as The Last of Us and Uncharted, Naughty Dog has developed a reputation for making narrative driven games that in some ways feel as much like playable movies as they do video games. These titles have given the company immense critical and financial success despite the fact that it has only released a total of five games since 2010. Though there have been many contributing factors to the company’s success in recent years, one of them is undeniably Neil Druckmann.
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Evan Wells, the now co-president of Naughty Dog, announced today on the developer’s website that Druckmann will join him at the company’s highest rank after serving three years as its vice president. Along with Druckmann’s promotion, former director of operations Alison Mori and former co-director of programming Christian Gyrling were both promoted to vice presidents. Evans concluded the brief announcement by expressing how meaningful it has been to work with the Naughty Dog team, especially during this year, and asked the fan community to extend their congratulations to all those promoted.
Though Druckmann has had his creative hands in many of Naughty Dog’s projects, he has become synonymous with The Last of Us franchise. He served as the first game’s creative director before taking the director reins of the sequel. The Last of Us Part II did not receive the same universal praise as the first one, however, and this was mainly due to controversial narrative decisions that divided the fanbase. Yet Druckmann foresaw this potential divide as stated as much in an interview prior to the game’s release, demonstrating truly how well he understands his craft.
While this promotion is much deserved, the fallout from it could go one of two ways. Though game making is a collaborative effort, those on the outside world do not know exactly how Naughty Dog functions in their creative process. On the one hand, Druckmann’s promotion could mean that his storytelling talents will spread to more projects. On the other hand, the increased level of responsibility could prevent him from applying the personal touch that made his projects so successful or, in the case of The Last of Us Part II, so widely discussed. Either way, all of these promotions should have an impact on Naughty Dog‘s output for the foreseeable future.
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Source: Naughty Dog
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