Naughty Dog's Evan Wells is out as co-president

Naughty Dog
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells has announced his retirement from the company.

Wells joined Naughty Dog way back in 1998 during development on Crash Bandicoot: Warped, known in Europe as Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. He became co-president of the studio after the departure of founders Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin in 2004, and would serve in that capacity for the most of his tenure, with a brief stint as sole president following the departure of Christophe Balestra, eventually being joined by The Last of Us and Uncharted 4 director Neil Druckmann in 2020. Wells also served as executive producer for the 2022 Uncharted movie and HBO's hit The Last of Us TV adaptation.

In the announcement, Wells says he's been floating the idea of his retirement with leaders at Naughty Dog for over a year, and for even longer with Druckmann.

"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," Wells says. "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."

It's yet to be seen who, if anyone, will step in/up to replace Wells.

"I couldn’t be more excited about our current projects and not getting to see those games to completion is going to be hard," he adds. "But we’ve never had a stronger team in place to ensure that we will deliver them in a way that will set industry standards and exceed all expectations."

Wells and Naughty Dog are responsible for some of the best PS5 games available now.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.