The co-president of Naughty Dog has announced his departure from the highly acclaimed studio.
Christophe Balestra revealed his decision on the Naughty Dog website earlier today, stating his last day with the studio will be April 3rd.
“I never thought I would be saying something this difficult so soon – after fifteen years here, I am announcing my departure from Naughty Dog,” wrote Balestra.
“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).”
Balestra, who joined the studio in 2002 as a Programmer, said part of his decision to step away was to pursue personal ambitions and projects.
“I had the luxury and the honour to work with the most determined, talented and perfectionist people in our industry during my time at Naughty Dog. The collective high ambitions of everyone on the team have led us to ship some of the most awarded and critically acclaimed games of all time.
“I always smile when we’re asked what our secret is. We don’t have any — 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. That’s why I can step away feeling confident about the future of Naughty Dog — because the team is only losing only one of its many members.”
Balestra became co-president of the studio in 2005 alongside Evan Wells.
Under their direction, the studio has since become one of the biggest game studios in the world, overseeing the production and release of critically acclaimed titles such as the Uncharted series, The Last of Us, Crash Bandicoot, and others.
“Looking back and seeing where we managed to take the studio in just over a decade is undoubtedly my biggest professional achievement,” continued Balestra.
“Evan has been the perfect partner and I couldn’t imagine achieving the success we’ve had without him. It’s been a privilege to work with you, my friend.”
Evan Wells will now act as sole President of the studio.