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Something Weird Is Going On at Sony, Naughty Dog

Two key people have departed the Uncharted 4 team, and Sony is seeing numerous other layoffs and departures. What's going on?

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-Foxtrot1272d ago (Edited 1272d ago )

You think.....a lot of people are leaving from different studios who have key positions and it's becoming worrying in my opinion.

I mean people leave all the time in this industry but some departures like Hennigs stuck out for me. Knowing how the concept of Uncharted was her "seed" which the rest of the ND team "watered" I don't see why she would leave half way through development. I mean you would at least see the project through when it's a franchise you helped create. She dosen't look like the type to go "...DONE" and walk out. The project was still mo capping aswell something her and even the Game director see through, with Henning there (if you've seen the behind the scene videos) it gives her freedom to make the story better because she can change the script while they are acting if something doesn't flow well. Having someone else now might ruin that.

I mean come on guys, the creative director AND game director have left...I know we will all like the believe that this is nothing and Sony/Uncharted is fine but to be honest it really doesn't look that way. Something is up...not just at NaughtyDog but at Sony in general.

Some departures might just be Sony cleaning up, like if someone is wasting money in development but others like Hennig seem weird to me with the unusual circumstances

NewMonday1272d ago

dear IGN,

sitting around speculating is what we do here in the comment section and on gaming forums. as "journalists" aren't you guys supposed to go out their and get us some answers?

-Foxtrot1272d ago (Edited 1272d ago )

They can't ask for answers...I doubt IGN would risk not getting sent free goodies and exclusive rights to previews/announcements in the future :D

iamnsuperman1272d ago (Edited 1272d ago )

That is one thing I have never understood about the gaming media. These people must have built up contacts and networked yet big sites either post news (sometimes coming from external sites having "insider knowledge") or they just speculate. No-one (big sites) seems to actively do something about the news.

Pandamobile1272d ago (Edited 1272d ago )

IGN isn't journalism, it's gaming entertainment.

truefan11272d ago

Sony should have restructured as last gen was coming to a close instead of waiting until current gen began. Expect the uneasiness to continue until employee confidence builds back up. During what should be the best period for ps4 there has been a lot of turmoil. Also the key people not leaving heart felt messages should be noted.

DragonKnight1272d ago

This has already been addressed though. The layoffs are part of Sony's attempt at streamlining game production to be more focused. Smaller teams means less conflicts and greater attention to detail.

People leaving is their own choice. One dev left to take care of his son, Jack probably felt he accomplished everything he could at Sony. Gaming "journalists" are nothing more than tabloid reporters these days.

ShinMaster1272d ago (Edited 1272d ago )

This video has no new information. Nothing that we didn't already know.

People may be connecting dots that may not even be there in the first place.
For example, DriveClub's director left because his son was diagnosed with a potentially life threatening condition and he works 220 miles away from home and for 5.5 days a week.

It may be a string a coincidences. Or maybe Sony is tightening things up a bit, making game production more focused and streamlined. Maybe they let things get a little too big and ended up with too many game directors in one studio.

scott1821272d ago (Edited 1272d ago )

@truefan1

It really disgusts me to read what you wrote. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and think you just haven't seen the message from the drive club dev. If that wasn't a heart felt message then you have no heart.

TOTSUKO1272d ago (Edited 1272d ago )

Its actually common for journalist to voice opinions. Like the editorial section in the newspaper.

Gaming journalism is more opinion and speculation than factual news though.

Baccra171272d ago

Didn't we just do this last week with a written article? Did we really need a video on this now?

fr0sty1272d ago

IGN must be getting desperate for hits. This is the second time they've done this story, despite being put in their place last time.

kreate1272d ago

@panda

'IGN isn't journalism, it's gaming entertainment'

isn't journalism part of ign though?
like one of their departments?

AngelicIceDiamond1272d ago

@Monday Wellsaid.

They're the ones with the journalism degrees how bout they try finding answers for us to speculate instead of just sitting around making jokes.

Tapioca Cold1272d ago

No shit eh?

Thank you NewMonday for speaking intelligently on this forum.

People get fired and laid off. Just cauae your name is on a great product doesnt mean you werent the one hindering its process before release.

Flutterby1272d ago (Edited 1272d ago )

How does an article with even less info than we already know get second on hottest topics??? What a waste of time this was. We already know why a few people left why do we need "journalists" to tell us what we all know. It's nothing important or worrying.

MrDead1272d ago

@NewMonday

Speculating is far more popular than finding out the truth. The truth is often boring and quite sad as we found out last week..... and it doesn’t generate this much interest.

Why bother with journalistic integrity when you can just make up news.

TheDivine1271d ago

Sony is closing all studios that don't make hits, slimming down the rest, and churning out the sellers ala MS, Activision, and Ubisoft. They tried letting devs run wild and they got games that suck ass and sell like shit. Sure one in ten is great but the other 9 are still crap. Other devs take 5 plus years to make games. That only works if your a huge franchise like Elder Scrolls, Half Life, or Zelda (any Nin ip really). They're bleeding money which isn't sustainable.

Sony is dropping everything that isn't big blockbusters with guns and explosions like Infamous, Killzone, Uncharted, TLoU, Driveclub, GT, GOW exc. They want the dudebro mainstream audience with the ps4. There's a reason they only released KZ and Infamous so far. Big graphics, lots of action, little substance. Its what sells. Btw not knocking those games. Infamous is pretty damn good but I want some RPGs, jrpgs, adventure games, survival horror, something other than the norm.

johndoe112111271d ago

@truefan1

What the hell are you talking about????

ajkula1271d ago

Nothing to worry about,,,,
Amy hennig only did uncharted 1's script as her best.
And this u4 director is best friend of hers, she's even the one who's got him the job at ND...
Nothing to worryabout,,,

morganfell1271d ago (Edited 1271d ago )

@ iamnsuperman,

Actually they haven't any real contacts. No one that has been in the gaming industry more than a day likes or trusts these people.

You work hard, they praise your material in previews sucking up to you and then on launch day they attack the very things they talked up previously. They do so without justification, standards, or even the least bit of actual development experience. You are restricted from debating these people or pointing out the massive, canyon wide flaws in their damning of your work.

So called journalists (what a joke) are viewed as a necessary industry evil, a leech, a succubus that works outside the business. You keep them at double arms length. If they do not have to know then they do not get to know.

In the absence of knowledge they revert back to what they are always, unprofessional outsiders with failed aspirations who possess a platform to damage gaming.

Idiots all without the slightest bit of responsibility to the industry and the fans whom they are supposed to service. I say supposed to because in reality they only further the company for whom they work and their own fat, bloated, puss filled egos.

candy_mafia1271d ago (Edited 1271d ago )

@NewMonday

OMG that's so true.

I subscribe to IGN, Gamespot & Machinima among others, and all I see is 'repeater' journalism. Meaning, they have a bunch of researchers trawling the net and just repeat what's on there with zero investigation at all.

N4G already does what these sites do and more...

frostypants1271d ago (Edited 1271d ago )

@NewMonday: Well said. Bubs. IGN is headed down the crapper. Gaming "journalism" today has, much like the rest of the media, devolved into nothing more than an echo chamber, where everybody is just talking about what everyone else said or printed, and no one is actually doing any investigative journalism.

pyramidshead1271d ago

truefan1 still trolling I see. Keep up that one bubble fight, kid.

3-4-51271d ago

http://www.sedonaobserver.c...

^ Just in case they forgot what Journalism is supposed to be.

Moz1271d ago

@TheDivine Agree with a lot of what you said but Sony are still exploring more interesting concepts just now doing most of that through nurturing the indie dev. The PS+ free games so far have offered some nice games.
And there's definitely not a lack of survival horror at the mo Outlast is great, Daylight and the evil with are both looking very interesting.

N2NOther1266d ago

They ask. Can't be helped if people don't answer.

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iamnsuperman1272d ago (Edited 1272d ago )

"I mean come on guys, the creative director AND game director have left...I know we will all like the believe that this is nothing and Sony/Uncharted is fine but to be honest it really doesn't look that way. Something is up...not just at NaughtyDog but at Sony in general."

Well Justin got a job at riot so I don't see that as odd. For all we know riot could have persuaded him to leave. Amy leaving is more suspicions since she isn't doing anything now (as far as we know which is a red flag). I hear your fears for Uncharted as a new face could bring changes but it depends on the new face. That new face could do a good job

All the other cuts make sense. They sounded like some projects were stalling/failed which is always the risk of new ip (the general consensus of what happened)

Edit: @reply below
Well in Justin case would that work for him? Would there be a positions left a riot for him to fill if he waited. Uncharted could be at least a year from release and your working constantly till shipping date to get the game done. Riot could have snatched him up and justin could have seen better future and exciting prospects at riot. There is no indication he just bolted. Not everyone sees a project through till the end if a more exciting or even the perfect job comes up.

-Foxtrot1272d ago

If a project is complete then I wouldn't find it funny at all but during development the game director AND creative director decide to leave.

If nothing was up and you wern't in a hurry to leave (for whatever reason) you would at least finish off what your doing.

As I've said I don' think you would wake up one day and go "You know what...I'm quitting and I moving to a new studio"

Summons751272d ago

Why would you want to downgrade your job though? Sure Riot could offer a better salary but Naughty Dog actually makes games and are considered the best of the best in the gaming industry. Personally I would want to stay to build a better resume than downgrade my job to work for a studio that makes a joke of a game with no story or fluid gameplay. All Naughty Dog's games have been critically acclaimed, LoL isn't and is barely taken seriously.

Amy could have left for a multitude of reasons. Personal circumstances, health issues, or (VERY UNLIKELY) something happened between her and naughty dog/Sony but because of her position it was a 'polite firing' where her resume isn't tarnished but she couldn't continue to work (like I said very unlikely but it's a thought)

NewMonday1272d ago

@Foxtrot

what good are they then?

Sharky2311272d ago

Honestly the game industry is no different than any other job. When you find something you like more( it doesn't mean naughty dog is a sinking ship) then you have to explore the option. I've been at a job and just going through the motions. Then a company has an opening so I took it. They weren't going to hold it til I came. This is more than likely what's happening. Creative difference also cause this. That's why Henning left. Sometimes you just gotta get out!

joab7771272d ago

I think that Henning left b/c they got rid of Richards. Who knows? Stig left b/c they canceled his project I assume.

The other departures dont bother me. They came after the successful launch of the PS4 and at the end of the fiscal year. It seems to be just about the time someone would leave to move on to better things, or at least new things.

Its a trend right now with Cliffy B., and Levine (stayed but restructured). Bowling is making Human Element. Sometimes u reach a pinnacle and its time to move on. At this time, many want to try making great games with less overhead and no middle man. If it means paying $10-30 for a great experience instead of $60, I am down.

My only worry right now is the success of F2P games. It looks like its here to stay...and it ruins games. To all that object to subscription models, research before u complain b/c microtransactions r the devil.

Anyway, it may b a great trend to see ppl move towards creative freedom. I was tiring of AAS sequels and streamlining for the masses. I believe that these new consoles will bring a PC type gaming experience w/ mmo's, f2p, and many indies to tide u over. Triple A is dying...but its OK. We will still get our annual launches...uhhhh!

Now, whichever console brings MOBA's 1st...wins!!! Lol

chaosx1272d ago

Uncharted , is getting rushed to make way for the next Last of US. Creatives would have said you can't do that! , Bosses would have said yes we can , if you don't like it you can leave and rather than have there names against something less than what the wanted for the IP I'm guessing they left.
Sony/ Naughty Dog PR department steps in , its fine everyone , its all great nothing to see here.
Business is business and Last of Us is the golden cash cow now…… Last of US Ps4 and the Sequel need to be out while people are still buzzing.

Kind of sucks as i loved uncharted , but i do feel the 3rd didn't have the same magic as the 1st and 2nd , and it had no where near the attention Last of Us received.
I wonder who would win in a fist fist Nathan or Joel????

extermin8or1272d ago

I higly doubt it, its fairly common knowledge from ND that sony justbleave them too kt plus you fofget that there were/are two teams the last of us team was seoerate from the uncharted team. Too many cooks spoil the broth sticking more ND member on tlou sequel development wouldnt make a blind bit of differemce so early in the development cycle.

guyman1272d ago

Ridiculous comment. I'm playing uncharted 3 now and I think it's absolutely superb. Every word in your comment holds no weight in any way... Just a ludicrous armchair analysis trying to spur on an idea of turmoil in ND.. Epic fail.

Go to sleep

Nekroo911272d ago

Well Fox, its not worrying at all because its part of the gaming industry.

Do you realize that the lead programmer of 343 studios left, to join Sony the same with a Rare veteran. Both left MS...

mkis0071272d ago

Im surprised no one else remembers that...and she joined naughty dog didnt she? Or was is santa monica.

-Foxtrot1272d ago

Totally different

They left....thats it, nothing that made it look like something went on behind closed doors, they just left and moved on.

I've said how this isn't normal why do people keep making out it's just an everyday thing in the gaming industry.

I bet the lead programmer didn't leave during Halo 4 being made.

christocolus1272d ago (Edited 1272d ago )

@Nekroo

Correction - Corrine Yu was not a lead programmer she was a senior graphics designers at 343..she left to naughty dog but MS has since hired new talents and two new project leads one of which is tim longo from lucas arts who also was the creative director of tomb raider and also jason staten from bungie(a creative lead on destiny) and also they have some guys from irrational and ssm.

About rare they lost some talent after the ms take over and a few more just a couple of yrs after xbox 360 launched but no one has left the team since then that I am aware of, infact they just like the other ms studios have been actively recruiting since 2012 to date.

HammerKong1271d ago

man we all know this norm in the industry,but when you use to work on important post and when whole team,progress and everythings depends you ,you can never leave in situations like this,these people use to be in contracts until its done,uncharted 4 is not relesed yet and two most important people has left and you still dont know about what is happening in the back ground,and chorin u she did'nt left while halo 4 was indevelopment ,she left after the project.

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Eddie201011272d ago

These things happening at the same time doesn't have to mean doom and gloom, most of it is probably for the better, some of it is just unfortunate like Amy Hennig leaving naughty dog, I doubt that has anything to do with the other stuff that's going on with Sony.

Studio's constantly lay off people, there a lot of layoff's you hear about and their a lot you don't hear about. It's the nature of the business that when some people's job are done they are laid off. Sometimes layoffs are done to reduce redundencies. The most likely reason is to make the company and development studio's more efficient in order to make better profits and better games.

Jack Treton leaving, I hope was because he thought it was a good time to leave because the PS4 and the Playstation brand is doing very well, Plus after nearly twenty years he probably is up for a change. I doubt very seriously their is any ill will between Jack and Sony.

Gaming sights should stop acting like tabloid news papers. Constantly spouting rumor and speculation without any facts or information to back or justify any of it. So much of what they think is journalism is just nonsense and does nothing to help the gaming industry or community and without either one they would not have a job.

Magnes1272d ago

This trend is industry wide; Don Mattrick leaves Ms after DRM debacle, Jack Tretton leaves at height of ps4 success,Marc Written unexpectedly leaves Ms, Ammy Hennig unexpectedly leaves ND,Bungie leaves halo and Ms behind,Insomniac makes xb1 exclusive sunset overdrive.

Should I go on the whole industry is in flux.

Illusive_Man1271d ago

Don Mattrick got fired. Not the same.

showtimefolks1272d ago

i am not worried thing is when you have as many talented people as ND do some of them will leave for bigger opportunities and some will want to make more money by opening their own studios

it would worry me if sony fired these people, but it seems most of them are leaving because they want to

its ND come on plus its sony's 1st party studios you know talent will be there. If stig who rumors said had the time since god of war 3 to make a game couldn't even make something worth the money than why should sony keep pumping money into loosing effort?

end of the day its a business

plus the guy who left from drive club team, his son is sick so he can't be away from him.

But its IGN they want hits so they will make an issues out of nothing, they report on stuff that gets reported by other sites sometimes days in advance

wsoutlaw871272d ago

did everyone miss the fact that the director from evolution said he left because his son is very sick and wanted more time at home? I just doesnt make sense to connect all these people leaving. Im sure sony decided to lay off some people and its no big deal.

ThatOneGuyThere1271d ago (Edited 1271d ago )

this has gotten out of hand. know what the easiest way to get a massive raise is? a new job. know when the best time to get a new job is? after you release a hit. Sony's 1st party studios have been releasing some REALLY solid hits. Its time for them to move on up. I dont understand why there needs to be any speculation at all.

There are a TON of new game start ups that promise huge pay hikes, perks, etc. that larger companies cant compete with.

JsonHenry1271d ago

I think we are looking down the nose of a WORLD WIDE dust-bowl that will make the original great depression look like a billionaire's ball. It isn't just Sony and video game makers moving and quitting left and right. Just google search bankers suicide and look at the high number of deaths in the financial market that started happening all of a sudden.

Mark my words. A crap storm of epic proportions is coming our way. And these head honchos and insiders all know it.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 1266d ago
barb_wire1272d ago ShowReplies(2)
Rickgrimes951272d ago

I actually think uncharted 4 is almost done been in development for probably 2 and a half years

rdgneoz31272d ago

Not almost done, but not too far off. Probably out fall 2015.

extermin8or1272d ago

I think ot'll be put fall 2014 we are approaching 3 years dev time, we'll see st e3 I guess. If not then next summer, like the last of us.

TheRatedD1272d ago

I just hope the multiplayer is good. I spent a lot of time on UC2 and 3 multiplayer.

ITPython1272d ago

The multiplayer is one of the big reasons why the Uncharted series has gotten consistently worse since they introduced the online portion in UC2. And I have a feeling the UC4 SP will be even worse than UC3 due to an even more focused multiplayer experience.

With games like Uncharted the MP is nothing more than a second thought, and it takes away far too much focus from the games true reason for it's success... the single player.

It's really annoying to see more and more devs believing they need online MP as part of their games. Unless a studio is big enough to 100% focus on both and neither SP nor MP get gimped as a result, then I believe games should either be 100% SP, or 100% MP.

TheRatedD1272d ago

Everyone agrees Uncharted 2 was the best, and it also had better MP than in 3. Plus, did MP in The Last of Us take away from the singleplayer? Nope.

RedDevils1272d ago

The multiplayer didn't make it worst. Believe or not I like both single and multiplayer in UC2 and UC3, although I prefer 2 more

ITPython1272d ago (Edited 1272d ago )

@TheRatedD - Yes, it did take away from the single player. Because for every minuet they worked on the MP, that was one minute they did not work on the SP.

TLoU was amazing, but it is guaranteed it would have been better if they hadn't wasted any time working on the MP.

Just think about it, lets say they worked on the MP for a total of 5 months... well that is 5 months of time that could have been spent on the SP, making it even better, polishing it up even more, working on the story even more, optimizing even more etc etc etc.

The only way this wouldn't be the case is if the ones who were working on the MP were NEVER going to work on the SP, even if there was no MP. Otherwise any time taken by devs to work on the MP, was taken away from the SP. And you can't sit there and tell me that if the devs added another 5 months of work to the SP that it wouldn't get any better.

wsoutlaw871272d ago

lol "consistently worse since they introduced the online portion in UC2" you cant really say consistently worse when there has only been one game since just to try to make your argument sound better. So you think uc3 was worse than 2 just because of mp.

extermin8or1272d ago

No I think amy hennig and that new game director ( the two that just suddenlly left) being given free reign are why uncharted 3 was so bad xompared to the previous 2 story wise. That and rushing it to meet the release date they announced wayyy too farbin advance.

ThatOneGuyThere1271d ago

dude....I don't think you understand how game studios work.

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ltachiUchiha1272d ago

I loved Uncharted 2 multiplayer at launch but after all the nerfs it really pushed me away from the multiplayer. Uncharted 3 multiplayer was cool but it just felt off for me. The Last of Us though, I feel Naughty Dog hit a homerun out the park with this multiplayer.

Last night I joined a random game going against a clan that all were same level of 174. My team was awful, I had 7 downs 7 executions & 2 deaths & 4 revivals the 1st game & we got beat & these dudes were tea bagging me at the end of the game. So next game I switch to all out offense stradegy. I now have the shotgun perk & drop my revival skill from 4 to 1 to add more offense.

I go crazy in this next match with 18 downs 13 executions & 4 deaths & 3 revivals. Towards the end it was a tie game with 10 seconds in the match & I point blank 1 of theirs with the shotty only to see them leave & erased all my stats that round. That was bullsh*t & those fools had host advantage, thats the only thing id like Naughty Dog to fix. Game is awesome tho.

corvusmd1272d ago

Normally when it comes to reviews IGN is in Sony's pocket...although lately they seem to be moving away from that. They admit that all of this is just speculation...and that's all it should be taken for until something more than rumor connecting these things comes to light. However, any fan of Sony should at least keep this in the back of their mind, admittedly it is somewhat worry-some. Other than Col, the leaving of most of these people, including Trenton, has all been a little odd. It could all be nothing, it could be all just weird timing like they said. Hopefully anyone making more out of this is just connecting dots that don't go together.

However, where I do think this video makes solid points is when it talks about Morpheous. The more we learn about this device, the more it just seems like it was rushed, almost like it was just trying to test the waters to see if they should push it...and perhaps gain the "innovation" title over MS in the minds of those that don't dig deeper than headlines. It may turn out to be great, but it already seems technically inferior to Oculus and further away from being available.

iamnsuperman1272d ago (Edited 1272d ago )

"However, where I do think this video makes solid points is when it talks about Morpheous. The more we learn about this device, the more it just seems like it was rushed, almost like it was just trying to test the waters to see if they should push it...and perhaps gain the "innovation" title over MS in the minds of those that don't dig deeper than headlines. It may turn out to be great, but it already seems technically inferior to Oculus and further away from being available."

I have no idea where you got this idea from. We have no release date or price. We have seen a working concept which is likely to change (it's had its first showing on so long ago ). They mentioned the business plan at the conference which seem more like the desired/necessary aims they need to achieve before release. They even admit to concentrating on the PlayStation first then working on the PC side later

Everything points to the device not being rushed. If it was being rushed we would have seen more from it (I doubt we will even see it at E3)

Paulie_gualtieri1272d ago

Another day, another xbox fan's wild conspiracy theory

RedDevils1272d ago

I stopped reading after this "Normally when it comes to reviews IGN is in Sony's pocket." but I should have known from a one bubble

MysticStrummer1272d ago

That's exactly where I stopped reading as well.

Didn't we see several explanation articles about all this stuff within the last week or so? I'd swear I saw headlines to that effect, but I must admit I wasn't worried enough to need an explanation so I didn't click on them.

Sony as a company has had some rough times lately, but if anything is doing well for them it's Playstation 4 so I can't see them rocking that boat to save some other sinking ship within the company.

kenshiro1001272d ago

Can you prove that IGN is in Sony's pockets?

Of course not, right?

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