Evan Wells, co-president of Naughty Dog alongside Neil Druckmann, has announced his retirement from the studio effective at the end of this year.
Wells has been with the company since 1998, the year it released Crash Bandicoot: Warped, and been involved in bringing to life some iconic titles since across series like Jak & Daxter, Uncharted and The Last of Us.
Part of Wells’ statement to the Naughty Dog team (which you can read in full here) reads, “After 25 years at Naughty Dog, I wanted to share with all of you that I’ve decided to retire at the end of this year.
“This is something that I’ve been discussing with Naughty Dog’s Studio Leadership Team for well over a year, and with Neil for even longer than that. The decision brings with it overwhelming and conflicting emotions, but I’ve come to realize that I’m content with my time at the studio and all that we’ve accomplished together over the last 25 years. I couldn’t be more confident in Neil’s ability to carry on running the studio. It’s the right time for me to provide the opportunity for him and the others on the Studio Leadership Team to steer the studio into a successful future.”
After 25 incredible years, Naughty Dog Co-President Evan Wells announces he will be retiring later this year. We're so grateful for his talents, guidance, and leadership in helping to shape our studio.
Druckmann issued a separate statement announcing a series of leadership changes that will take place following Wells’ exit. The current co-president will join Wells as co-head of studio until his departure, as well as taking on the role of head of creative. They’ll be supported by Alison Mori who will become studio manager and head of operations, among other promotions and leadership changes.
Druckmann said, “We wish Evan well in his well-earned retirement! He’s been extremely generous to stay on for much longer than he originally planned, working closely with us to thoroughly craft this new structure. I feel truly honoured to have such a passionate, thoughtful, and talented team at Naughty Dog, and this growth reflects the ability to recognise the meaningful contributions from all departments, while setting up our studio to be more accessible, agile, and scalable.”