Evan Wells And Christophe Balestra On The State of Naughty Dog, Uncharted, And The Last of Us


"Naughty Dog - the legendary studio behind The Last of Us, Uncharted, Jak and Daxter, and Crash Bandicoot - has been in the headlines the last few months, but for all the wrong reasons. A reported exodus of key team members has people wondering about Naughty Dog and the future of Uncharted. Game Informer analyzes the sequence of events leading up to the present day, then sits down with company co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra in a candid interview about the validity of the reports, the stability of the company, the future of Uncharted for the PlayStation 4, and what those changes mean for The Last of Us."

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Walker1362d ago

Cannot wait to see their ps4 work, it's gonna be minnd-blowing !

majiebeast1362d ago

Biggest news seems to be that Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley(UC2 and TLOU) will be leading Uncharted 4. After Hennigs and Richmonds departure.

-Foxtrot1362d ago

I hope they don't try and make it like the Last of Us. All dark and gritty.

GarrusVakarian1362d ago (Edited 1362d ago )

That right there should put anyone's doubt to rest. The lead people behind the widely accepted best game in the Uncharted series, and the winner of the most GOTY awards of any game ever made (TLOU), leading UC4. what could go wrong?

A stage demo of this game at E3 will blow people away. Seriously. Every time a game in this series gets shown for the first time, there is mass hysteria on every gaming site for weeks, lol. This one will be no different.

I am envious of those people who will get to see the reveal of UC4 at E3 on those big cinema screens.

TheKing011362d ago (Edited 1362d ago )

@FoxTroT okay, can stop now. your "concern" is starting to come off as trolling at this point. you've engaged in numerous dialogues with people on this site about your "worry" for the game when it was potentially being headed by new people, and then regurgitate the same "I hope they don't make it dark and gritty" when there's absolutely nothing that has indicated anything of the sort is happening.

and honestly? Uncharted with a new tone would be welcoming. I loved UC3, but the only fault I really found was that it felt kind of "samey". mixing it up would be nice.

TomShoe1362d ago

Druckmann is love

Druckmann is life

-Foxtrot1362d ago (Edited 1362d ago )


Your speaking like you know me yet you've only joined 3 days ago....right.

I think many people, including Lukas above can tell you how I'm a huge Uncharted/ND fan...expressing concerns is not trolling. I really think people such as yourself need to look up what that word really means before you start throwing it around.

If people can say the same comments like "I can't wait for this" or "ND are amazing developers" then I don't see why it's so wrong to express a concern. It's like you don't want anyone criticising ND one bit...I'm a fan but I'm not a blind fan.

Would you really want Uncharted to be like the Last of Us in terms of tone. I wouldn' keeps the franchises different.

Imalwaysright1362d ago


Everyone in here already knows how much of negative nancy you are. It took TheKing01 3 days to figure you out which is not surprising since you always manage to find a reason to bitch and moan about anything and everything. You've never even seen 1 measly second of the new Uncharted so why are you already crying? At this point your "concerns" are empty and meaningless so please spare us from your negativity.

-Foxtrot1362d ago (Edited 1362d ago )


Oh get off your high horse, people only use the "negative nancy" thing as a way to attack me, even though I post positive and negative comments you only like to focus on the negative ones so you have something to say against me in an argument

How is it "b******* and moaning" aswell when it's just a concern. If I didn't say anything and blindly went along with what ND was saying you'd probably be called a Sony fanboy so I can't win either way really.

Honestly I love how you guys spend more time attacking me then the bloody articles on this site. Your just ticked off that I'm saying something you don't want to hear.

However in this case with it being you, you just want to find a way to have a go with me. Not like you would buy Uncharted anyway knowing you. I mean have you seen your comments, you b**** and troll.

Imalwaysright1362d ago (Edited 1362d ago )


There is absolutely no reason to be concerned about the new Uncharted until you actually see it in motion or find out more details about it. You're just being a negative nancy for the sake of being a negative nancy and that is why people are calling you out. No matter how much crying you do on this subject, most people won't even pay attention to what you're saying because its nothing but pointless drivel. WAIT until you find out more about the new Uncharted. Then you can spread your inevitable negativity all over N4g.

Freedomland1362d ago

They know about the expectations of the public and what will happen if they don't deliver.
Lesser UC4 is not an option.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 1362d ago
Ballsack1362d ago (Edited 1362d ago )

Great interview

best game creating studio on the planet putting the record straight

even more exciting is the new ip they say they are also working on

exciting times for all naughty dog lovers

ZodTheRipper1362d ago

It's probably TLOU 2 :)
I think that they did a great job clearing things up. Now I can't wait to see UC4, it's just one week away :O

XiSasukeUchiha1362d ago

The uncharted 4 power level over 1 trillion!

kenshiro1001362d ago

Fox, Uncharted is in capable hands. You act as if a darker story is gonna take away from the game or something.

-Foxtrot1362d ago

No I just don't want it to become like The Last of Us when themes keeps the franchises different from one another.

Uncharted a light hearted warm adventure game

Last of Us a dark, gritty, cold hearted adventure game

I'm not bothered about dark elements, I'm just concerned they are going to change it too much.

Having concerns and speaking out about them isn't wrong you know. I was just making a comment on it, thats all. Not like I called ND or Uncharted crap.

kenshiro1001362d ago

I guess I can see where you're coming from but I have faith in ND.

hellzsupernova1362d ago

"It's not significant at all. In the course of the last generation, we've had art directors, creative directors, co-presidents, and co-founders, leave the company and we just keep going. We've replaced that talent and we've filled the gaps. Some bumps are harder to smooth out than others. We work it out."

Try to tell the xbots that this was happening last gen as well and they just keep yelling Naughty Dog is failing

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1362d ago
GribbleGrunger1362d ago

"We have 'at least four' different pretty significant things going on right now."

I like the sound of that.

WeAreLegion1362d ago

Me, too. Amazing! Fingers crossed for Crash?

GribbleGrunger1362d ago

20th anniversary ... E3 in a week ...

Dark111362d ago

Looks like U4 will be dark as TLOU.

XiNarutoUzumaki1362d ago (Edited 1362d ago )

Not really as dark as TLOU. U3 was darker than 2, and it worked. Maybe it will take another direction from the series while keeping the core mechanics.

I welcome change

miyamoto1362d ago (Edited 1362d ago )

I hope not and I don't think so.

Neil Druckman and Bruce Straley also worked on Uncharted 2 so they know how the humor worked with that game. And Nolan North knows that even in the darkest of situations Drake can crack the wittiest sarcasm against his enemies.
For sure the angst and violence will be there but not to the grim & dark horror TLOU is known for. They may even throw undead pirate skeletons but they know the right dose of scare factor needed.
These are two different franchises that have their own distinct identities.

Everybody should know that the corporate headhunters have their sights at ND talents year in and year out and we have seen great talents come and go at ND. Mark Cerny was creative director and producer with ND some times before, Lemarchand was part of Uncharted before. Sonic the Hedgehog game designer Hirokazu Yasuhara came and go. Its no big deal if a great talent comes but when they leave suddenly its the end of the world for ND???

ND is not Rare nor SCEI is like M$ Studios, people.

With Straley and Druckman at the helm Iam pretty sure U4 on PS4 will be phenomenal even better than U2 & TLOU as ND is known for topping themselves.

New IP incoming for PS4
"Well I mentioned earlier the number of products we have going. We definitely have another project on the scale of Uncharted in very early pre-production stages. "

XiNarutoUzumaki1362d ago (Edited 1362d ago )

People who think Dautghy Doge is doomed because 4 people left must be ignorant haters. They are far frrom being doomed. We are talking about developers who have been trough worse situations, and developers who establish standards in this industry every generation.

-Foxtrot1362d ago

"That's a lot of people! When you've lost Amy Hennig, the head writer of the Uncharted series, this seems to be a change in direction and philosophy for Uncharted from what we've seen in the past. How does that affect the direction? Did you not like the direction the game was going"

They seem pretty touchy when it came to that question.

Anyway I suppose you have to ask as it's a interview but it's not like we'll know 100% whether or not they are telling the truth.

We'll never know unfortunately

georgenancy1362d ago

c'mon now your comments always seem so negative,lighten up buddy

-Foxtrot1362d ago (Edited 1362d ago )

No I'm just being realistic

I love ND and Uncharted but I'm not going to be blind because of how respected they are

If it was just another person moving on fine but the fact is it was the CREATIVE DIRECTOR, half way through the development of a franchise she helped create.

If it was after Uncharted 4 had went gold or before they started on their next project then fair enough. It's stupid to say nothing went on because under the circumstances....something gave her the push to leave.

ZodTheRipper1362d ago

^You sound like the media outlets that made a big drama from a couple of staff changes. Do you seriously think that Druckman and Straley are not able to differentiate both franchises from each other?

Am_Ryder1362d ago (Edited 1362d ago )

No, Foxtrot, georgenancy is right. You're not being realistic, you're being pessimistic and overly critical of normal realities.

They were not expressing "touchiness" when it came to that question. They were expressing weariness. Probably because they've been Tweeted and asked about it a million times by people like yourself.

(EDIT: Just noticed in the interview it even says, "Wells and Balestra appeared tired of the subject when we sat down for our interview".)

If you were being "realistic," you'd know that moves like that are literally a daily occurrence at the top echelons of any industry like this.

The fact that it was Creative Director doesn't matter. Creative Director doesn't mean she was the ONLY person who came up with the game's entire look, style, writing, characters, plot, et cetera. It just means she kept it focused and tied to their goals, while working among team of probably thirty other writers, tech artists, assistants, assistant editors and directors, the actors, et cetera. Making games is a collaboration; she was just a cog in the engine, and it's amazing she stayed on as long as she did already.

The guys who made TLoU worked on Uncharted, too- they know exactly what makes the series tick. And they know what while Hennig was a great director, there are plenty of others who can do just as good, if not, a better job. These two have already cut their teeth on TLoU. Look at how that turned out. Game of the Generation for many.

It's not like TLoU is the ONLY kind of game they can make. These are talented artists who will read tens of books and watch tens of movies to research and get the tone of a narrative right- they will do exactly the same with Uncharted 4.

Everything's going to be fine. Lighten up and read Gamasutra- please begin to understand how the whole sector actually operates.

Inception1362d ago

Hey Foxtrot, why you had more interest with ND internal affairs rather than excited with their games? Are you really a gamer or just ignorant people who hungry for gossip?

ND is a video game developer. Obviously they wanted people to excited with their products rather than their corporate affairs. What good will come if they only talked about how their ex-employee left? The result are very negative. They will ruin the good relationship they had with Amy Hennig and other ex-employee. Because i'm sure those ex-employee still had good relationship with all people in ND despite they're not working anymore in ND.

And not only that. It will affect the company harmony and the final result of ND projects.

Seriously, would you trade the quality of UC4, TloU remaster, and other ND projects just to know the truth behind why Amy Hennig left ND? If yes than i seriously pity you.

JackStraw1362d ago

OKAY. WE GET IT. Jesus, dude.

Joe9131362d ago (Edited 1362d ago )

I agree with georgenancy you do seem negative about ND almost hard to believe you are a fan but I been on n4g to know you are I'm on the fence about it being darker part of me think it would be kool and like to see his girl or Sully die rather it be Sully though idk why just don't think it is realistic to have them all survive every single time but see your point of having a bright arcade type of game in UC then a dark and gritty game with TLOU and keeping them separate. Also you really can't expect them be able to speak about termination of a employee and I am sure Amy can't say nothing until UC 4 come out if they used part of her story because she could spill the beans on some plot point just telling why she had to leave sure she had to sign a non disclosure form.

-Foxtrot1362d ago


Are you f****** joking me, the amount of times I have said something along the lines of "I love ND" or "I can't wait for this"....yet I write a few comments here and there about my suspicions about this little affair with Amy Hennig and you guys make it seem like that's all I've wrote about

Seriously I could write 1000 comments about something positive about ND and you pick out the 10-20 of them which seem negative.

You guys make me a laugh.

Cherry picking at it's finest.

GarrusVakarian1362d ago (Edited 1362d ago )

I think you guys are being way too harsh on Foxtrot, seriously. I've been in the exact same boat multiple times, with multiple things that i love, not just games, where you love the thing so much that any talk of change, or any kind of switch-up, terrifies you.

It's not hard to see that Foxtrot is passionate about the Uncharted series, probably more so than most of the people replying to him in this comment section. He's just voicing his concerns about something he loves. Mentioning the fact that he's always "negative" isn't accomplishing anything. He's bringing up valid concerns about a franchise that he's passionate about.

"Seriously I could write 1000 comments about something positive about ND and you pick out the 10-20 of them which seem negative. "

This is how N4G is, don't get wound up about it mate. I don't know if it's human nature, or just N4G members in general, but everyone here seems to focus on the natives and ignore the positives. It's like their brains just filter out the positives.

MRMagoo1231362d ago


"but everyone here seems to focus on the natives and ignore the positives"

I don't think natives have anything to do with anything at all, kinda odd to bring up the indigenous N4G tribes but what ever floats your boat.

This is a joke of course ppl, It was obviously meant to say negatives is his post.

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