With its brutal narrative, The Last of Us Part II has been an incredibly polarizing game that actually drove some long-time Naughty Dog fans away from the developer. It appears that we could be in for more controversy, however, as the game’s writer and overall leader, Neil Druckmann, has been promoted from Vice President to Co-President.
“Neil Druckmann now joins me as Co-President of Naughty Dog, after serving almost three years as Vice President,” Evan Wells (President) revealed. Two other senior studio members have also been elevated to the Vice President position.
“In addition, we’re welcoming Alison Mori and Christian Gyrling as Vice Presidents of Naughty Dog,” he added. “Prior to becoming Vice President, Alison served as our Director of Operations and Christian served as our Co-Director of Programming.”
According to Moby Games, Druckmann started out at Naughty Dog as a developer for Jak 3 before moving up the ladder with other PlayStation 2 titles such as the critically acclaimed Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. He then made an even bigger name for himself by writing and serving as the creative director for The Last of Us and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
With these promotions, Naughty Dog seems to be telling us that it’s quite invested in telling stories full of doom and gloom. Druckmann famously told Buzzfeed in 2018 that The Last of Us franchise wasn’t meant to be “fun.”
“We say ‘engaging,'” Druckmann clarified, “and it might seem like a minor distinction, but it’s an important one for us, which is, we believe that if we’re invested in the character and the relationships they’re in and their goal, then we’re gonna go along on their journey with them and maybe even commit acts that make us uncomfortable across our moral lines and maybe get us to ask questions about where we stand on righteousness and pursuing justice at…ever-escalating costs.”
Congrats to @yoalimo and @cgyrling on their well-deserved VP promotions. And I couldn’t be more excited to start this new chapter for @Naughty_Dog with @Neil_Druckmann as Co-President! https://t.co/0JFJcVi80A— Evan Wells (@evan_wells) December 4, 2020