Naughty Dog Co-President Evan Wells announces retirement

After 25 years and a tenure running all the way back to Crash Bandicoot 3, Evan Wells is leaving leadership of Naughty Dog.

Image via Naughty Dog

Naughty Dog is well known at this point as one of the foremost developers in gaming, one of PlayStation Studios biggest first-party studios, and a major contributor of some of the most celebrated games off all time, but one of its long-time leaders is about to exit the company. Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells as been with the company since around 1998, but he’s announced that he will be resigning, leaving leadership to Neil Druckmann and other Naughty Dog executives.

Evan Wells announced his resignation as co-president of Naught Dog in a statement on the studio’s website on July 11, 2023. According to the announcement, Wells is not facing any particular difficulties. He just wishes to step back from the role, feeling content about what he has accomplished, where the studio currently is, and what comes next. Wells mentions that Druckmann will essentially become solo president of the studio, aided by further Naughty Dog management.

“I couldn’t be more confident in Neil's ability to carry on running the studio,” Wells wrote. “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.”

Neil Druckmann and Evan Wells
Neil Druckmann (Left) will take over as solo president of Naughty Dog as co-president Evan Wells (Right) steps down from the role.
Source: Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Evan Wells began at Naughty Dog in 1998, working on Crash Bandicoot 3. He has since gone on to aid the studio in the Jak & Daxter series, the Last of Us series, the Uncharted and more that have propelled Naughty Dog to status as one of the most renowned modern game developers around. That said, one could say Wells has been preparing for this time for quite a while. It was only in 2020 that Naughty Dog boosted Neil Druckmann up to co-president alongside Wells, paving the way for Druckmann to go solo with the role now.

As Wells exits Naughty Dog, he doesn’t seem in a hurry to start anything new like so many other veteran developers have done. Nonetheless, stay tuned for any further updates, right here at Shacknews.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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