Naughty Dog has had quite an interesting year. Their only title release of 2020, The Last of Us Part II, made some serious waves throughout not just the video game industry, but the video game community. Regardless, it’s gone on to become a major success for the PlayStation family and Sony, and that success is most apparent to Naughty Dog themselves. In a blog post, Naughty Dog President Evan Wells announced some changes in their personnel, with the most noteworthy being the promotion of Neil Druckmann to co-president of Naughty Dog.
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) December 4, 2020
The other two employees who received promotions at Naughty Dog were Alison Mori and Christian Gyrling, both of whom were elevated to Co-Vice Presidents. Mori previously held the title of Director of Operations, while Gyrling was the Co-Director of Programming. Druckmann’s new posting means that he will now work alongside Wells in the same capacity with more or less the same authority. Druckmann is synonymous with nearly all of Naughty Dog’s titles, where he has built an impressive resume of excellently lauded games since he began working there in 2004.
He began as a gameplay programmer for both Jak 3 and Jak X: Combat Racing, before taking on his first co-writer role in Uncharted: Drakes Fortune. His role was elevated slightly to Co-Lead Game Designer and Co-Writer for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, the sequel that would become one of the most critically acclaimed titles in history. Druckmann then wrote and designed the PSP title Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier before starting a brand new IP for the company where he was now the Creative Director and Main Writer. That title was The Last of Us, which would go onto become one of the greatest and most popular games of all time.
Another title that wound up on everyone’s Game of the Year list was Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End which Druckmann later wrote and directed after long-time creative director Amy Hennig departed the company. In 2018, Druckmann was promoted to Vice President of Naughty Dog, a role which he held for three years before his aforementioned promotion. Just a little before his promotion, and after a couple of delays, Druckmann’s next title launched this year, The Last of Us Part II, which has already won Ultimate Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards and is nominated for the same award at The Game Awards which goes live on December 10.