Neil Druckmann, Creative Director of 2013’s The Last of Us, has been promoted to Vice President of Naughty Dog “in recognition of his expanded role, contributing on critical, studio level decisions.” Company President Evan Wells called the announcement a formal acknowledgment, saying Druckmann has been “a vital part of the management team for some time now.”

This doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Druckmann has served as a leading figure for multiple critically-acclaimed games over the years. He was instrumental in the development of both Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us, two critical and financial successes. His work has earned numerous awards including a DICE Award, a BAFTA, and a Writer’s Guild of America Award, among others.

The news comes from a blog post in which a few other promotions were announced. Anthony Newman and Kurt Margenau are the joint game directors on The Last of Us 2, both having served Naughty Dog since Uncharted 2’s development. Wells says the two have been “instrumental in leading the design department.”. Emily Schatz and Richard Cambier have both been promoted to lead designers within the company.

Druckman has been with Naughty Dog for nearly 14 years since starting as a programming intern in 2004, first working on Jak 3. He was one of the main creative forces behind The Last of Us,  co-directing the highly-successful 2013 game alongside Bruce Straley. Straley announced his departure from Naughty Dog in September of last year after taking an extended leave. He hasn’t had a part in the development of the sequel.

Druckmann will continue his role as creative director on The Last of Us 2 alongside his new roleThe PlayStation 4 exclusive was announced without a release date in December 2016 and we expect to hear more about it at this year’s E3.

What do you think of this promotion? How do you think it will impact The Last of Us Part 2? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Tyler Brass

Staff Writer