After 25 years at Naughty Dog, Evan Wells, current studio president, along with Neil Druckmann, will retire at the end of 2023. Wells himself announced this in an internal message that has been made public, ending a career full of success with sagas like Jak & Daxter, Uncharted, and The Last of Us.
“Dogs, after 25 years at Naughty Dog, I wanted to share with all of you that I’ve decided to retire at the end of this year,” Wells begins in the statement posted on the studio’s website. “I couldn’t be more confident in Neil’s ability to carry on running the studio. It’s the right time for me to provide the opportunity for him and the others on the Studio Leadership Team to steer the studio into a successful future”
“I couldn’t be more excited about our current projects and not getting to see those games to completion is going to be hard,” Wells continued. “But we’ve never had a stronger team in place to ensure that we will deliver them in a way that will set industry standards and exceed all expectations.”
Obviously, there will be changes at the top of Naughty Dog, although Druckmann will remain as president after Wells’ departure, and will also assume his creative role. Meanwhile, Erick Pangalinan and Jeremy Yates join the executive team that Wells talks about, and Anthony Newman becomes head of production and design.
Pangilinan has also been with the studio for 25 years and was recently promoted to art director, while Yates has been the animation lead on several Uncharted installments. Newman, meanwhile, served as co-director on The Last of Us Part II.
Wells concludes a career that began at SEGA and continued at Crystal Dynamics until 1998 when he joined Naughty Dog, where he has remained to this day. He was named co-president of Naughty Dog in 2004 following the departure of Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin.
Source | Naughty Dog