Uncharted Game Director Leaves Naughty Dog for Riot Games

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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Uncharted Game Director Leaves Naughty Dog for Riot Games


Uncharted 4's game director Justin Richmond has left Naughty Dog mid-development.

Last year, Naughty Dog teased a new Uncharted game in development for the PS4 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/129665-Uncharted-Coming-to-PS4]. Unfortunately, the game is now running sans its game director, as Justin Richmond, who was overseeing Uncharted 4's development, has announced his departure from the company. Richmond's new digs are over at Riot Games, who is responsible the phenomenally popular League of Legends.

"I have in fact made the decision to leave Naughty Dog," Richmond told IGN [http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/03/27/uncharted-4-game-director-justin-richmond-leaves-naughty-dog]. He adds that there are no feelings of ill-will towards his previous employer, as "I love the company and the people and know that they will continue to create awesome games going forward."

"On a happier note, after careful consideration and exploration I have joined Riot Games," he said. "There is some really innovative stuff going on here that I can't wait to be a part of." Going to Riot is fast becoming the trend for high-profile game designers, considering World of Warcraft's designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street left Blizzard for Riot last year [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/130067-Greg-Ghostcrawler-Street-Leaves-Blizzard-Entertainment].

Previously, Richmond oversaw Uncharted 2: Among Thieves' multiplayer mode, and was the game director on Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. He had been with Naughty Dog since 2008.

This news, coupled with the announcement that hyped up the fact that Henning and Richmond were working on it [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/132660-Uncharted-Writer-Amy-Hennig-Departs-Naughty-Dog-Update].

Source: IGN [http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/03/27/uncharted-4-game-director-justin-richmond-leaves-naughty-dog]

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mechalynx

Führer of the Sausage People
Mar 23, 2008
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What I really really want to know if this has anything to do with Amy Hennig leaving so abruptly. I'm still a bit miffed at ND for dropping her and handing the reigns over to The Last of Us devs.
 

Insanity_Incarnate

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Feb 9, 2014
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mechalynx said:
What I really really want to know if this has anything to do with Amy Hennig leaving so abruptly. I'm still a bit miffed at ND for dropping her and handing the reigns over to The Last of Us devs.
According to a Sony insider over on NeoGaf (so you may want to take this with a grain of salt) Amy left do to creative differences, and Justin, who was one of her strongest allies, left because Riot gave him a really great deal. So it was probably at least partly responsible. As for Niel and Bruce (the The Last of Us devs) Naughty Dog claims they were not at all involved with her choice to leave and that they are not even on that project, instead they are supposed to be in preplanning for whatever they plan to follow up The Last of Us with.

Like I said most of this is hearsay so take it with a grain of salt.
 

Sarge034

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Feb 24, 2011
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If there were no hard feelings and he love the company then why did he bail mid project? I don't know, just seems like a dick move if there was nothing else going on that we didn't see.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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Jul 18, 2009
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To be honest, I think Bruce Straley is a better game director anyway, but this exodus from Naughty Dog is a bit disheartening. And if it happens mid project then there's definately more going on than a simple 'someone gave me a better offer'.
 

BrotherRool

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Oct 31, 2008
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I mean Uncharted 3 was not the best game in the series. But it's still a little worrying, a change as big as this must represent some internal disruption
 

Vivi22

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Aug 22, 2010
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"On a happier note, after careful consideration and exploration I have joined Riot Games," he said. "There is some really innovative stuff going on here that I can't wait to be a part of."
Are they taking more established genres and saddling them with one of the worst business models in history?