Neil Druckmann
Neil Druckmann


Creative Director (2010 to present)
Lead Game Designer (2008–2009)
Designer (2005–2008)


Naughty Dog


Bachelor's in Computer Science[1]
Master's in Entertainment Technology[1]

Neil Druckmann is a video game designer who has worked at Naughty Dog since 2004. He was a co-writer and designer for Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and both a co-writer and co-lead game designer for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves[2]. He was then assigned as director for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, along with co-director Bruce Straley.


Before entering the video games industry, Druckmann was majoring in criminology. It was while attempting a course in programming that he realized "people make games", thus inspiring him to find a job based in game design. Deciding to switch majors, he then enrolled for the Entertainment Technology masters in Carnegie Mellon University and sought an internship at video game development studio Naughty Dog by "harassing" co-president Jason Rubin, who "made the mistake" of giving him his number. He eventually succeeded and was brought on as a stint programmer on Jak 3 in early 2004, one year into his Carnegie Mellon's masters program.[3]

Young Neil Druckmann

Neil when he worked on Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy.[4]

Afterwards, Druckmann went on to continue programming work on Jak X: Combat Racing before eventually landing a position in design for Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. This was Druckmann's initial aim, but studio veteran Evan Wells (now co-president of the studio) had restrained from placing him in design originally because he was "hired to do programming" so had to do programming work as a part of his job capacity; after intermittently working after-hours over the course of the next year on design projects (once completed with his programming duties) and frequenting them to Wells for review, however, Wells finally concluded that he was "an excellent designer as well" and brought him on to the design team for Uncharted for the first time,[5] for which he also did additional writing.[2]

Following the success of Drake's Fortune in 2007, Druckmann was then cast as co-lead game designer of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves alongside Richard Lemarchand, in addition to also serving as co-writer alongside co-workers Josh Scherr and creative director Amy Hennig[2]. He was also one of three designers (the others being Amy Hennig and Bruce Straley) who conjured the idea of the now heralded[6][7] Where Am I? chapter, which features main protagonist Nathan Drake exploring a peaceful Tibetan village after losing consciousness due to exsanguination in a snowstorm days before. Months later, in October of 2009, Among Thieves was released to critical acclaim.


  • Neil stated on a 2013 AMA with a smiley face that Jak X: Combat Racing was the best game he worked on.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Neil Druckmann. LinkedIn. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Neil Druckmann. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  3. Meet Naughty Dog's Renaissance Man. Edge Magazine. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  4. Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy Official Site (archive)
  5. The Co-Presidents of Naughty Dog. YouTube. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  6. Top Ten: Uncharted Moments. The Digital Fix. Retrieved June 11, 2916.
  7. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves review. Eurogamer. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  8. Hi, we're Neil Druckmann (Creative Director) and Bruce Straley (Game Director) of The Last of Us at Naughty Dog. AUA!. Reddit. Retrieved June 11, 2016.