Uncharted 4 director leaves Naughty Dog for Riot

It's unclear whether this second high-profile departure will affect development of the PS4-exclusive Uncharted 4.

UPDATE 13:51 PST

Sony passed along the following statement regarding Richmond's departure: "SCEA can confirm Justin Richmond has left Naughty Dog to pursue other opportunities. The development timeline of Uncharted will not be impacted."

The original story appears below.

Uncharted 4 game director Justin Richmond has just announced that he is leaving his position at Naughty Dog to work for League of Legends developer Riot.

In a statement to IGN, Richmond wrote, "I have, in fact, made the decision to leave Naughty Dog. 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. There is some really innovative stuff going on here that I can't wait to be a part of."

The PS4-exclusive Uncharted game was announced last year at the PlayStation 4 launch event in New York, but it's made headlines recently with the departure of lead writer Amy Hennig. While original reports posited that Hennig was "forced out" of the company by The Last of Us creative directors Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, Naughty Dog clarified in a later statement that they "were NOT involved in what transpired."

We've reached out to Sony for further clarification on the departure and to comment on whether this will impact the development of any current projects at Naughty Dog.

Justin Haywald is a senior editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @JustinHaywald Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

444 comments
woffff
woffff

I have always heard ND was a B#!H= to work for......love the games UC2 ROCKS -(online UC3 sucks balls)....but the story lines are awesome.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

This is in addition to the lead writer of Uncharted who already left. Huge losses for Naughty Dog.

Can't say I blame them. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit and a self-belief are eventually going to leave the Studios, which use a hierarchical structure and ultimately answer to the shareholders. The best and brightest will be working with smaller indie teams. And given the advancement of dev tools, this is exactly what is needed in gaming. Gaming was dying from the inside: companies like EA were/are killing it.

Merseyak
Merseyak

there all leaving from playstation and xbox wont be long now before there is nobody to make a decent game and the consoles will be over indie is where they go for the cash now thanks fb

drekula2
drekula2

to be honest, i do think a paradigm shift is needed.  uncharted 3 was a euphoric experience, but it also left me with the feeling that if uncharted doesn't make major changes to the structure and formula, it will get stale.


so maybe this is for the best to have new brains working on it.

Halloll
Halloll

so he left to join the guys who said plot in games are overrated, hardly seem like a loss if that's how he thinks.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

The guy was director of multiplayer on Uncharted 2, and was "involved" with Uncharted 3... I highly doubt his leaving will affect things all that much.

They may be my favourite franchise in the Playstation family, but there's a whole team involved at Naughty Dog making the games epic, not just one or two people.

The media just loves to shit stir. People move on all the time.

j_kizi
j_kizi

Ok, Now I'm starting to get worried, too many high profiled employees leaving. Hope this wont affect the game. Not a great start to the PS4 for Naughty Dog.

Aaronp2k
Aaronp2k

this literally means nothing. I guarantee you all uncharted 4 will be great.

hellzicke
hellzicke

Naughty Dog sure has alot of talented people, but what's making the studio release great games is the team structure they have. The open office no hierarchy enviroment stimulates great productivity and also makes you less vulnerable if someone decide to leave. That's my 5 cent of it.

WA31988
WA31988

kinda amazes me how some commenters do actually trace eachother comments and memorize their id names...i used to sorta enjoy reading comments before all this, but now it's just kids bashing eachother, regardless who's point is valid n who's not, from the 3rd person pov, it's just kids fighting over a game...literally. 

no console is even meant to be perfect n no game either, if u wanna have all the fun, u buy every console u could get ur hands on, but if u can't, then just settle for whatever you have and don't try to piss all over other consoles just because you can't afford them. Nintendo will always keep making mario like games, Sony and Microsoft will always keep busting eachother balls and pc will always have the best graphics out there. Thats the way it is, and they will make sure it stays that way regardless of what you say or think. so just deal with it and move on.


Now all i said is not even relevant to the article but i just had to get it out of my system, now as for uncharted...please sony, don't fuck it up, it was one of the main reasons i bought a ps3

chev9341
chev9341

Don't worry Sony fanboys, that mildly upgraded version of Last of Us for PS4 will cheer up guys up. I also saw your kind bashing Nintendo for teasing fans of a new Mario vs. Donkey Kong for Wii U because it's a "rehash."

Harbinger_CR
Harbinger_CR

...So...am I the only one who doesn't get the appeal off Moba's? I played LoL I got bored, I like strategy games, but I didn't like LoL. And why are they so popular on Twitch?? There are far more entertaining games to watch.

mikz_nyc
mikz_nyc

Maybe he left before they could send him on a "lifetime unpaid vacation"

gamerno66666
gamerno66666

 Hold these devs with chains. it seems everyone is leaving.

croxus
croxus

Sony has won the next gen war and are offloading the senior directors, they can afford to take risks now in software and hire new guys with fresh ideas, this is the ideal moment for that.

The more the gap between them and MS+Nintento grows the less exclusives they need anyway.

From a salary perspective a new/younger dev will have a smaller salary and Sony will use the difference for the Indie game support project.

DeanoFantasy
DeanoFantasy

Uncharted 4 has probably been in the making for years already and is probably in its finishing touches, hes probably left for other work, isn't this how the industry works? since when was this type of info in the new years ago? whats it matter if an Microsoft executive leaves for another company or same for Sony or if Hideo Kojima wants to make a Silent Hill game, you buy it or you dont.

Earthen80
Earthen80

Likely has something to do with Amy Henning's departure.

Yulaw2000
Yulaw2000

It's weird that so many people have departed from Sony in such a short length of time.

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

It's over, Nintendo won.

Mraou
Mraou

@MerseyakWhile you're at it, blame game award committees/websites for giving short indie games GOTY.

woffff
woffff

@drekula2 I love UC2....the online multi-player UC3 is just crap (although the single UC3 is great)....just wish they would update the hacks & glitches....ND always abandons it's products , but still sells the old as new...sigh

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

@warhawk-geeby Lucas Pope was an amazing guy from ND. He was the guy who left and made Papers, Please! The game was a huge critical and commercial success for him.

hrj
hrj

@j_kizi Had you heard of Justin Richmond before this article? He directed the multiplayer of U2. What did he do on U3?

Not exactly a high profile and as others have said, people change jobs all the time. No big deal.

Don´t worry about Naughty Dog and PS4. Everything will be awesome.

Vinnvn
Vinnvn

@chev9341  

Poor nintendo boy did you run out of 10 year old game?

shingui5
shingui5

@chev9341  Do you know for a fact that the people complaining about Donkey Kong for the WiiU, are now actually happy about this rumour of TLoU being ported? 

Or do you just like spouting nonsense for little reason? 

toffifee
toffifee

@chev9341  Oh, Chev. You always defend Nintendo even where nothing is being said about Nintendo. Fanboys cannot be trusted. Period.

MAD_AI
MAD_AI

@Harbinger_CR

MOBA's are for highly competitive people, if you're not the kind that enjoys online rivalries and such you won't like it. Back when the first Dota came out we used to organize LAN teams and head to any CyberCafe and make a war out of it. I outgrew it, I prefer RTS games like Total War now.

Gears_0f_L0ve
Gears_0f_L0ve

@Harbinger_CR  To each their own.  For me, I can't play any other game  except Dota 2, and because of Dota 2.  I don't think I've had this much fun in a long time.  It must be the drive to get better.  Same as Basketball or any other arena sport.

tom2750
tom2750

@gamerno66666  the last of us is better then the five best PC exclusives combined go cry in a corner

wezkilla
wezkilla

@croxus  PC has won this gens war, and the next and the next, and the next one after that.

toffifee
toffifee

@shingui5 @chev9341 The latter. You should see him defending every crappy Nintendo game that comes out. Not so say that there aren't good ones, but he is a HUGE fanboy/fangirl.

corrus
corrus

@toffifee @chev9341 Not only he all Nintendo fanboys do that and saying that other are haters but actually they are the haters 

Harbinger_CR
Harbinger_CR

@MAD_AI @Harbinger_CR  Actually I am highly competitive, I guess Moba's just aren't for me, but I like RTS games, so far my favorite RTS is Battle Dawn(go look it up it's awesome and it's in need of new players).

3dmatrixgamer
3dmatrixgamer

@toffifee @shingui5@chev9341   Chev is a fangay.

3dmatrixgamer
3dmatrixgamer

@Harbinger_CR @MAD_AI 

MOBAs are for those whose minds are highly multitasking.