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Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells retiring after 25 years at studio

"Thank you for what has truly been a tremendous adventure."

After 25 years with the studio, Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells is retiring from Naughty Dog.

The decision was full of "overwhelming and conflicting emotions", Wells said, but added he was "content" with his time at Naughty Dog and everything the team had accomplished during his tenure.

Eurogamer's The Last of Us Part 2 video review.Watch on YouTube

"There's never a perfect time to step away, but I'm incredibly confident that I'll be leaving the studio in the best hands," Wells wrote in a statement.

"Naughty Dog has been my home for over half my life," Wells said. Image via Naughty Dog.

"Neil [Druckmann, Naughty Dog's co-president] and the rest of the capable and dynamic Studio Leadership Team are perfectly suited to ensure Naughty Dog continues to lead the industry - not only in the games we make, but the environment in which we make them.

"I am positive that Naughty Dog will continue to push the industry and our medium forward."

During his 25 years with the studio, Wells has been involved with everything from Crash Bandicoot to The Last of Us.

"Every major life milestone I can track with a Naughty Dog project," Well continued. "I met my wife during Crash Team Racing, we took our honeymoon after shipping Jak 2, had our first child E3 week when we announced Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, and our second child was born right in the thick of development on The Last of Us."

Not being able to see the studio's current projects to completion will be "hard", he added.

"I have no doubt Naughty Dog will reach new heights and continue to raise the bar for the state of the art."

In response to Wells' news, Druckmann said he was sad to see his mentor leave, but that Wells' "unmatched legacy will forever be part of Naughty Dog".

Naughty Dog is currently working on its standalone Last of Us multiplayer game.

While the studio promised we would hear more about its "ambitious" project sometime this year, in May it was revealed that Naughty Dog had "slowed down" development after Destiny maker Bungie - which has been individually assessing Sony's many "games as a service" projects since its was acquired last year - raised concerns about The Last of Us multiplayer's "ability to keep players engaged for a long period of time".

Naughty Dog has said little about what it's working on other than this project, but fans have speculated some mysterious, fantasy inspired artwork found on a wall in the studio's The Last of Us Part 1 might offer clues to its next game.

In addition to this, The Last of Us Part 3 rumours began making rounds again earlier this month, with reports suggesting "major filming" for the series' next instalment could begin as soon as this year.

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