Naughty Dog co-president and lead creative Neil Druckmann is being honoured with a prestigious Andrew Yoon Legend Award, which will be presented by the New York Video Game Critics Circle at the 13th annual New York Game Awards, airing on 23rd January, 2024.
The award, which recognises those individuals "who have propelled the gaming world forward, celebrating their profound impact on an industry that continues to captivate and connect people worldwide," has previously gone to such luminaries as Hideo Kojima, Phil Spencer, Tim Schafer, and Reggie Fils-Aimé.
NYVGCC president Harold Goldberg extolled Druckmann's many achievements and said: "Neil Druckmann's story is an inspirational one of self-determinism. He worked from an internship to being a co-president at Naughty Dog. His skill for creating titles that consistently redefine cinematic gameplay and human-centric storytelling deserves celebrating. His efforts to create characters representing 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 honoured to recognise him as this year's Andrew Yoon Legend Award winner."
Druckmann, who is sometimes known as "Doctor Uckmann" but is not (as far as we know) a trained physician, has worked in the industry for two decades. He has spent all of that time at Naughty Dog, which many consider the first among equals in PlayStation's first-party development family.
Beginning his career as a programming intern on Jak 3, Druckmann came to the fore and quickly built a reputation with his work on the Uncharted franchise before ascending to creative leadership on The Last of Us. Druckmann became vice president of the prestigious studio in 2018 and then co-president in 2020 alongside Evan Wells, who announced his retirement in July and will depart the studio by the end of the year. Druckmann will continue in his current role and serve as head of creative. He is currently writing and directing a new PS5 game.