Within 24 hours of Naughty Dog sharing that its upcoming expansion for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End will likely be its last Uncharted product, co-president Christophe Balestra has announced his retirement.
The news was delivered in the form of a blog post on the official Naughty Dog site, which includes:
Thanks from the bottom of my heart to everyone I worked with during the last fifteen years, it’s just been incredible.
And to all the fans… I know what’s in store and, with Evan leading the best team on the planet as President, I know that Naughty Dog will continue to blow you away!
Christophe has worked on the Uncharted franchise from its early beginning, getting his start in 2002 as Senior Programmer. He would work his way up the chain by becoming Lead Programmer, Programming Director, and Vice President of Technology before earning the position of Co-President in 2007, the same year Uncharted: Drake's Fortune debuted.
Like many critically acclaimed AAA franchises, Uncharted has a notoriously challenging development process that requires long work weeks from employees, particularly when milestones are imminent. For many it's exhausting, although made easier by relaxed company culture and strong support systems.
Christophe's departure, along other notable team member including Amy Hennig, raises questions as to where Naughty Dog will go from here. Equipped with one of the most prestigious reputations in the industry, it will easily be able to hire some of the best talent in the industry. What it will do with that talent is yet to be determined.
You can read the full post here.