This coming January, Naughty Dog co-president and head of creative Neil Druckmann will be honored by the New York Video Game Critics Circle with the Andrew Yoon Legend Award at the 13th annual New York Game Awards.
The award is intended to recognize those “who have propelled the gaming world forward, celebrating their profound impact on an industry that continues to captivate and connect people worldwide.” Past winners have included Xbox head Phil Spencer, Double Fine founder Tim Schafer, Death Stranding creator Hideo Kojima, former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé, and others.
Druckmann’s recognition comes after 20 years in the industry, all of which he has spent at Naughty Dog. He began as a programming intern in 2004 working on Jak 3, and went on to become known for his work on the Uncharted franchise and most recently creative leadership on The Last of Us, eventually becoming co-president of the studio.
“Neil Druckmann’s story is an inspirational one of self-determinism,” said NYVGCC president Harold Goldberg. “He worked his way from an internship all the way up to being a co-president at Naughty Dog. His skill for creating titles that consistently redefine cinematic gameplay and human-centric storytelling not only deserves celebrating, but his efforts to create characters that represent diverse backgrounds and perspectives have enriched content in AAA games. His brilliant work has been lauded with multiple New York Game Awards over the year, and we are honored to recognize him as this year’s Andrew Yoon Legend Award winner.”
We last spoke to Druckmann upon the release of The Last of Us Part 2 about the game’s development and its plot, characters, and themes. And earlier this year, Druckmann said that Naughty Dog has chosen what its next game will be, but stopped short of confirming whether or not we’ll get a Last of Us Part 3 or not.
The New York Game Awards will take place on January 23, 2024 in Manhattan.
Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to [email protected].