Something naughty is happening at Naughty Dog
What exactly is happening over at Naughty Dog Studios?
All the recent news about Naughty Dog makes me really uncomfortable. If you know anything about me at all, you know that Naughty Dog is my favorite game developer; they created two of my favorite games: The Last of Us and the Uncharted series. In recent months, the company has lost four high-profile employees and one voice actor.
In the words of my good friend and Poppycock Reviews Editor Zac Lebeau, once is an event, twice is a coincidence, and three times is a pattern. Just what is going on out in Santa Monica?
So far, Amy Hennig, Uncharted series creative director, Justin Richmond, Uncharted 4 game director, Nate Wells, The Last of Us art director, Michael Knowland, The Last of Us lead character artist, and Todd Stashwick, Uncharted 4 voice actor, have all left (or been asked to leave?) the company. The biggest thing that concerns me is the fact that Uncharted’s creator (Amy Hennig) is no longer with the company; although, I’m happy she is working with Visceral on a new Star Wars game.
I wouldn’t be so worried if the company was coming out and talking about this. I can understand why they didn’t want to talk about it when it was just Amy leaving; after all, it really isn’t our business. However, now that five Naughty Dogs have left the kennel, I think it’s time for one of the higher ups at Naughty Dog to come out and explain just what is going on over there. Even if everything he or she says is a lie, I’d rather he or she at least make an effort to let us know what’s going on rather than leaving us in the dark.
I think we can all agree that whatever is happening at Naughty Dog can’t be good. Sure, there is still hope that the next Uncharted will be good, and I’m not worried about the future of The Last of Us. However, to be perfectly honest with you all, I don’t think the next Uncharted is going to be as good as I’d originally hoped. I would rather the game be canceled entirely than have it come out and be mediocre.
Uncharted is a series I hold near and dear to my heart; I wear Drake’s ring around my neck every day. My fiancé, the CEO of Poppycock Reviews, has “Sic Parvis Magna” tattooed on his arm.
We don’t want to see our favorite video game series destroyed. I’d like to say I have faith in the guys at Naughty Dog to produce a great Uncharted game without Hennig and Richmond, but after the rumors that Amy was “forced out” of the company and after Stashwick told IGN that his role was recast, I’m just not so sure about the future of Uncharted anymore.