Naughty Dog and Sony Interactive Entertainment have chosen not to comment on recent reports of severe crunch at the studio, but The Last of Us II director Neil Druckmann isn’t holding back on Twitter.
In what seems to be a response to former Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us II animator Jonathan Cooper’s remarks, the Naughty Dog VP has been praising the game’s animation and production teams, with developers rallying behind him.
Cooper alleged that Naughty Dog hired relatively inexperienced staff because its poor reputation turned senior workers away. He’s of the view that The Last of Us II could have shipped sooner if it was in the hands of experienced developers.
In a series of tweets, Druckmann wrote:
Even after years of working on it, I’m still blown away by the animation in Part II. We have one of, if not the best, animation team in the industry – both in raw animation skill and technical knowledge. Can’t wait for you to experience their incredible work.
Some unsung heroes of Part II are the members of our production team. Y’all have brought order to our chaos, wrangled a complex schedule, and facilitated valuable communication. Game wouldn’t be what it is without you. Hats off.
Members of Naughty Dog’s animation and production teams then thanked Druckmann for his comments. God of War director Cory Barlog also expressed his support.
“Super proud to work with the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing,” added Lighting Artist, Boon Cotter. “Talented as f***, kind, loving, supportive, and above all, humble. I went through a rough patch last year due to some challenging personal issues, and EVERY SINGLE PERSON at Naughty Dog had my back.”
The Last of Us II will release on May 29th.
[Source: Neil Druckmann (Twitter)]