Naughty Dog is a mammoth in the gaming industry. They are responsible for some of the gaming’s most beloved franchises like Crash Bandicoot and the Uncharted series. And co-president, Christophe Balestra has been there to see it all. After being with the company for fifteen years, Balestra is stepping down from his position for the major developer.
Christophe Balestra posted a goodbye letter on Naughty Dog’s website a few days ago announcing her departure from the company. In the letter, Balestra says that he is stepping away from the company with the intention of spending some more time with his family and pursuing some personal projects, “which will obviously involve programming .” His last day with Naughty Dog will be April 3, 2017.
Balestra started as a programmer with the company back in 2002. He writes, “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.” 3 years later, Christophe Balestra would become co-president alongside Evan Wells.
Twelve years ago, when Evan and I became Co-Presidents, Naughty Dog was facing a challenging future with the transition to a new platform while developing a new engine and an entirely new franchise simultaneously. Looking back and seeing where we managed to take the studio in just over a decade is undoubtedly my biggest professional achievement. Evan has been the perfect partner and I couldn’t imagine achieving the success we’ve had without him. It’s been a privilege to work with you, my friend.
Evan wells will take over as the sole president of Naughty Dog on Balestra’s last day on April 3rd. The company is currently gearing up for the re-release of Crash Bandicoot for the current console generation, The Last of Us Part 2, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.