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In his previous role at Naughty Dog, Escayg was a cinematic animator for The Last of Us and Uncharted 4, and game director for standalone spin-off Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.
Avengers launched in August 2020. Square Enix confirmed in November that Avengers had yet to turn a profit two months after release following “slow initial sales”.
Naughty Dog’s co-president said last week that the Last of Us studio is still struggling to fully implement a multi-project development strategy, and revealed that it currently has several games in pre-production.
The PlayStation developer first attempted to embrace a multi-project model following the completion of 2009’s Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, with designers Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann establishing a second team to create The Last of Us, alongside the group working on a third Uncharted.
However, Evan Wells told the AIAS in a new Game Maker’s Notebook podcast (transcribed by VGC) that Naughty Dog was ultimately unable to maintain two full productions, with one project inevitably gaining favour and pulling resources from the other, and it’s an issue the studio still struggles with today.