Following fifteen years with Naughty Dog, co-president Christophe Balestra has announced his departure, with his last day on April 3.
Balestra first joined Naughty Dog in 2002, where he began working on projects such as Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. In a blog post, he explains that he’s leaving to pursue personal ambitions, projects, and spend more time with family. Balestra writes, “It’s very challenging to come to the realization that it’s time to step away from a career to pursue fulfilling personal ambitions and projects. I am doing it now out of utmost respect for the team and their unwavering dedication to Naughty Dog and our projects. The time has come for me to now spend more time with my family and create a void to see what I can fill it with (which will obviously involve programming).”
He says working for Naughty Dog was the “biggest decision” for his family and career. He extends his thanks to Evan Wells, who is also co-president, and that he was a “perfect partner” at the studio. Following Balestra’s departure, Wells will act as the sole president of the studio. He also reflects on Naughty Dog’s success, saying that he smiles whenever someone asks what the studio’s “secret” is to delivering critically acclaimed games.
“We don’t have any,” he writes. “We dedicate ourselves to assembling the best and most determined group of programmers, designers and artists we can find. Our ‘secret’ is and, always will be, the talent and drive of the whole team at Naughty Dog.”
You can read Balestra’s full post here.
For more on Naughty Dog, check out our video about the studio’s new vision for Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. We’ll be doing coverage all month about the upcoming stand-alone title, and you can follow this cover story and all its updates by heading here to our hub of exclusive content.
We wish Christophe the best of luck for the future, as well as respect and acknowledge the phenomenal work he has done with Naughty Dog.Â