Christophe Balestra, Naughty Dog’s co-president, announced his retirement today, revealing that he’ll be leaving Naughty Dog on April 3 after 15 years with the company.
"It’s very challenging to come to the realisation 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)." said Balestra in a blog post on Naughty Dog’s site.
"Joining Naughty Dog in 2002 was the biggest decision for my family and my career. I was excited to join the team that created Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. For me, the biggest appeal was working with the team responsible for games I love to play, ones that also looked stunning and were technically ahead of their time. I would have never guessed what my future at Naughty Dog would look like when I joined the studio as a programmer."
Under Balestra’s leadership, Naughty Dog produced two stellar new franchises, with the Uncharted series becoming Sony’s poster child for the life of the PlayStation 3, with Uncharted 4 snagging a bazillion awards throughout the last year since it launched for the PlayStation 4.
Balestra’s co-president Evan Wells will take over the president role in full after April 3.