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UNCHARTED 2 Takes Game of the Year at VGAs — Behind the Scenes with Naughty Dog’s Evan Wells

Evan Wells's Avatar + Posted by Evan Wells on Dec 18, 2009 // Co-President, Naughty Dog

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So the SPIKE TV Video Game Awards were this Saturday, and in case you hadn’t heard, UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves walked away with Game of the Year! It’s a huge honor and the team is still basking in the glow of that moment. While it’s still fresh in my mind, I wanted to share a little behind the scenes recap of how it all went down.

I arrived at the show with Christophe, Amy and Bruce and we walked the red carpet, which was a pretty cool way to start the evening off. There were tons of media lined up with cameras and microphones ready for interviews. We stopped for a few interviews and Christophe even played a game of Wii Resort Table Tennis against one of our interviewers (he let her win…so he says). Continuing down the carpet, we ran into a bunch of people arriving at the same time as us like Marty O’Donnell from Bungie (who walked away with the award for Best Score for Halo: ODST… congrats!), our friends from Infinity Ward (Modern Warfare 2 won Best Shooter and Best Multi-player!) and Stig Asmussen (God of War III won Most Anticipated Game!). It’s humbling to be around the people who make your favorite games.

Once we found our seats (VIP…thanks, Geoff Keighley) we sat around and waited nervously for the show to start. I had to control my inner fanboy as Mark Hamill, Samuel Jackson and Alyssa Milano sat down in front of us. The setup was amazing! The back of the stage was a huge video screen that actually wrapped around the sides to create a really cool 3D effect. SPIKE really stepped it up this year and pulled out all the stops.

{objt}

As the show began, it was awesome to hear Claudia Black’s voice as the MC for the evening. She had only found out the night before that they wanted her for the job and she jumped right in and nailed it. A consummate professional, as always. Unfortunately we soon found out that both she and Nolan North lost out to Jack Black for Best Voice which was the start of our losing streak, and had us worried we might walk away empty-handed. The competition was tough this year…in each of the 8 categories we were nominated in, we were going up against my favorite games of the year.

Jake Gyllenhaal


After losing Best Studio, Best Action Adventure Game, and Best Score we were up to 0 for 5! We were definitely getting even more anxious. The show was coming to a close, and after the amazing Halo Reach world premiere they announced that it was time for the Game of the Year presentation. I cheated and looked at the teleprompter so I could see a split second before it was announced and there it was…UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves! It was an amazing feeling walking up on stage to accept the award. They announced we had also won Best PS3 Game and Best Graphics at the same time. The night belonged to the team back at Naughty Dog but I couldn’t imagine two people better to represent them than our Game and Creative Directors, Bruce and Amy. So they gave their heartfelt acceptance speeches and the show was over.

Jake Gyllenhaal

From there it was off to the parties and time to celebrate with the rest of the Dogs. A bunch of coworkers who were at the community event/viewing party in Hollywood drove downtown to meet us. It was a great night and I couldn’t have been more proud to have been part of such an amazing project. We’re so glad that a bunch of us got to share the moment with the fans at the community event because in the end, that’s really why we work so hard on our games. Knowing that we have an audience that appreciates the end result keeps us coming back to do better next time.

This was only the second time in Naughty Dog’s 15-year history of making PlayStation games that we had won an industry award of this caliber, and we tripled that in one night. We’ve definitely raised the bar for ourselves in so many ways. But everyone on the team is looking forward to the challenge and we couldn’t be more excited to do it again.

Now it’s time to enjoy the holidays, but then it’s time to put our noses back to the grind stone and see what happens next.

//Add Your Own

91 Comments

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1

+ jazzyrider on December 18th, 2009 at 3:02 pm said:

Nice – congrats ND! I voted for you and other Sony games many times!


2

+ Kamahl_rg on December 18th, 2009 at 3:03 pm said:

Congratulations guys, you deserve it! Uncharted 2 is one of my favorite games EVER!


3

+ LightningBlade18 on December 18th, 2009 at 3:07 pm said:

More Modnation Racers Beta keys! little later though. :)


4

+ ACDarkKnight on December 18th, 2009 at 3:08 pm said:

Amazing job guys, get ready because you are going to get about 40 more GOTY awards so clear off the mantle.


5

+ truckdriverjames on December 18th, 2009 at 3:10 pm said:

Certainly A Deserving Game


6

+ FauCEEEt on December 18th, 2009 at 3:10 pm said:

congratulations naughty dog!! It’s nice to see your hard efforts being recognized!


7

+ truckdriverjames on December 18th, 2009 at 3:12 pm said:

Well Deserved


8

+ cheaitsjustin on December 18th, 2009 at 3:12 pm said:

You guys deserve every award you were nominated for. Congrats on the wins (not only from the VGAs, but from IGN, Yahoo and Metacritic too)!


9

+ MakulaTolkien on December 18th, 2009 at 3:15 pm said:

I tweeted Uncharted2 GOFT like 10 times that night.. congrats Naughty Dog


10

+ Andrefpvs on December 18th, 2009 at 3:16 pm said:

I woke everyone up with my cheering.


11

+ ULRA-1- on December 18th, 2009 at 3:16 pm said:

Naughty dog..wow. You guys seriously have outdone your selves! Not only with Uncharted 2, but with many of your previous games as well. I will say this, Uncharted 2 is by far the best game I’ve ever played, an I’m not exaggerating with this..I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF THE GAME, an can only hope uncharted 3 shows up on ps3 =)
Maybe a setting in atlantis ;D

You guys deserve it man.
Thanks so much for such an amazing experience

-Justin


12

+ Chase167 on December 18th, 2009 at 3:18 pm said:

congrats ND you should have won it in “07″ too


13

+ SonicRiderZG8 on December 18th, 2009 at 3:21 pm said:

Mr. Wells, I have followed Naughty Dog since the starting point of the company’s first game. I am only 16, so I may not have been up to speed on all your games when I was younger but what I did know is, as a child, they were extremely fun to play. I’m much older now and I can fully understand your success and achievements in the industry as a company and I couldn’t think of any other company more deserving than you guys. Congratulations Naughty Dog Inc for your impact in the gaming industry. Thank you for being a company that I can always be proud to say I grew up with.


14

+ wanethemane93 on December 18th, 2009 at 3:23 pm said:

Congrats to Evan, Amy, and all the other dogs at the studio. You guys really deserve the GOTY from the VGA’s and G4 and the praise from everyone else for Among Thieves, it is amazing game. Keep up the good work and i can’t wait to see what lies in Nathan Drake’s future. (And possibly Jak and Daxter’s on the PS3?)


15

+ BigBoss712 on December 18th, 2009 at 3:25 pm said:

Congrats ND, uncharted 2 is awesome.


16

+ memberop on December 18th, 2009 at 3:27 pm said:

Congrats ND.

Fortune favors the bold indeed. IIRC you also
got a win from g4tv as well as the others #8
listed.

Thanks for creating such a awesome game!

Looking forward to your future projects!

:-)


17

+ sikbta on December 18th, 2009 at 3:29 pm said:

Amazing Naughty Dog, All of you REALLY deserve the GOTY Award

Don’t know what happened with “Best Action Adventure Game” Award, It was definitely for you too

Congrats


18

+ thefjk on December 18th, 2009 at 3:29 pm said:

I voted for your guys everyday! This is payback for Drake’s Fortune that was just as good a game!


19

+ Curtisio on December 18th, 2009 at 3:33 pm said:

COOL BEANS!!! Nice job!


20

+ sam_i_jam on December 18th, 2009 at 3:34 pm said:

There was no competition for Game of the Year!

Congratulations Evan, Christophe, Amy and all ND folks.

Cannot wait to see what’s brewing next.


21

+ wanethemane93 on December 18th, 2009 at 3:35 pm said:

@13

So true Sonic, there a great studio and I actaully had somewhat of the same experience and i’m 16, about to be 17 in like 12 days but anyways Crash was my first game for the ps1 and The precursor legacy was the first game i got with my ps2 and I’ve became hooked ever since and really appreciate the games and studio more now. Ok so i’m going to stop praising you guys and actually go back to playing Among Thieves.


22

+ wanethemane93 on December 18th, 2009 at 3:36 pm said:

AND IF SOMEONE FROM NAUGHTY DOG OR SONY READS THIS: This may sound weird but i received the Jak And Daxter DVD with all the cut scenes from PlayStation but one day when my mom was cleaning my room she threw it away thinking it was a flyer or something. So again this may sound crazy but if ya’ll have any of those left could you possibly ship it to me, it would really be awesome. I know it is super late to ask about but reading the post remind me of it and how much love i have for J&D and the studio (and Uncharted). So if you could do that would be awesome.


23

+ wanethemane93 on December 18th, 2009 at 3:36 pm said:

AND IF SOMEONE FROM NAUGHTY DOG OR SONY READS THIS: This may sound weird but i received the Jak And Daxter DVD with all the cut scenes from PlayStation but one day when my mom was cleaning my room she threw it away thinking it was a flyer or something. So again this may sound crazy but if ya’ll have any of those left could you possibly ship it to me, it would really be awesome. I know it is super late to ask about but reading the post remind me of it and how much love i have for J&D and the studio (and Uncharted). So if you could do that would be awesome. Sorry for so many post.


24

+ StargamerX on December 18th, 2009 at 3:38 pm said:

Congratulations to everyone at Naughty Dog for winning Game of the Year. Keep it up , most of my favorite games are made by you guys. Now, when will we see that new Jak game… :)


25

+ that-acmilan-guy on December 18th, 2009 at 3:39 pm said:

Amazing game, u guys deserve it!


26

+ Korghano on December 18th, 2009 at 3:42 pm said:

It’s one gamers opinion, but I think it’s a travesty you guys didn’t also walk away with best score and best male and female voice.

Congrats on making a landmark game!


27

+ mafecto on December 18th, 2009 at 3:43 pm said:

U2 was a hair better than MW2 for me this year, which is an amazing feat. You guys toppled Godzilla. Fantastic job.


28

+ Azure-Edge on December 18th, 2009 at 3:54 pm said:

I voted for you guys, you all deserved it.

Thank you for proving that a great single player campaign and a ‘fun’ multiplayer is better than putting everything in the multiplayer.


29

+ THE-D1RTY-77 on December 18th, 2009 at 3:58 pm said:

Screw the prince of persia movie lets make an uncharted movie !!!! lol

you can tell they were about to tear up because i was about to tear up…


30

+ KingXtreme81 on December 18th, 2009 at 4:01 pm said:

You absolutely, most definitely deserved the award.

Speaking for myself, a gamer of well over 20 years, I can honestly tell you that Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is the best gaming experience I have ever had.

Uncharted 2 jumped past any and all gaming experiences I had before it. When you consider how many masterpiece games have come out in history, that’s an unbelievable feat, but one I can say without hesitation.

Anyway, just wanted to congratulate you on an award you deserved to win, frankly, with ease.

Congratulations, and most certainly, thank you for such an incredible experience.

Oh, and get busy on Uncharted 3! :)


31

+ ADR143 on December 18th, 2009 at 4:02 pm said:

congrats to ND!


32

+ EnigmaNemesis on December 18th, 2009 at 4:11 pm said:

Well deserved. Congrats! Game was EPIC!


33

+ EnigmaNemesis on December 18th, 2009 at 4:11 pm said:

P.S. should have won acting too, but the nominees were atrocious. Popularity contest much?


34

+ Nick-30 on December 18th, 2009 at 4:16 pm said:

Why don’t you guys answer me!!!!

when are the canadian fortune hunter edtion winners going to be announced


35

+ TheGuardianFID on December 18th, 2009 at 4:18 pm said:

I voted for you guys and watching you guys win it was awesome, I was like “YES WOO HOO LOL,” I looked like an idiot but that’s no different than any other day, :P congratz guys, you deserve it!!! :D


36

+ Kchow23 on December 18th, 2009 at 4:20 pm said:

Congrats Naughty Dog, knew you guys would win! Uncharted 2 definitely deserved to be GOTY


37

+ Keyo321 on December 18th, 2009 at 4:24 pm said:

congratz to NG!


38

+ bk7894 on December 18th, 2009 at 4:32 pm said:

congratzzzzzzz u deserve it

now make uncharted 3


39

+ FireDragonGod on December 18th, 2009 at 4:43 pm said:

Congrats NAUGHTY DOG U GUYZ ROCK


40

+ UnKn0nSldr86 on December 18th, 2009 at 4:43 pm said:

Congrats ND!! U2 is one of the best games i’ve ever played (and i’m a really picky gamer), well done!! I hope you guys are well financially compensated for your hard work. And i hope this hype will drive the game sales even higher. Can’t wait for U3!!


41

+ smokey_vols on December 18th, 2009 at 4:46 pm said:

Good job ND, you deserved it.


42

+ Jognny on December 18th, 2009 at 4:46 pm said:

Congrats Naughty Dog! You guys definitely earned it.


43

+ TheInfectedBy590 on December 18th, 2009 at 4:48 pm said:

:D


44

+ allblu on December 18th, 2009 at 5:37 pm said:

Congrats! i bought Uncharted 1 day -9 and was really sad to you guys jilted come time for awards. keep up the good work.


45

+ Wardork on December 18th, 2009 at 5:48 pm said:

Congrats ND you guys deserve it!


46

+ Hpedni on December 18th, 2009 at 5:53 pm said:

Why no video? That game company got to show their video


47

+ Slyver1080 on December 18th, 2009 at 6:08 pm said:

Awesome! Congratulations ND! X3


48

+ spunnups on December 18th, 2009 at 6:13 pm said:

A heartfelt congrats to you guys, Uncharted is an amazing series. I hope you guys make some more coop/multiplayer DLC and at least one more Uncharted, but I would definitely welcome more. The characters, story, and plot are all amazingly done and i can tell just by playing (and beating Among Thieves 5 times and Drake’s Fortune 4) that you guys put everything you had into this game and it really shows. Thanks for all your time and effort. You definitely have pleased every one of your fans.


49

+ DonnyG on December 18th, 2009 at 6:37 pm said:

Congrats.


50

+ Pulseman on December 18th, 2009 at 6:49 pm said:

Congrats! Really nice game. However I have one complain that hopefully you will address it in future installments:

Please make platforming more challenging, less scripted and please focus less on gun play and add more puzzle solving elements.

Give us something to think, not just mindless shooting and completely scripted platforming.

I hope you are listening! :)

Thanks.


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