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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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51

+ STMaraj on December 18th, 2009 at 6:56 pm said:

Just yesterday, I bought a game that won game of the year for 2009. Can anyone guess what game I bought?? :D


52

+ neostardust on December 18th, 2009 at 7:12 pm said:

Good job guys awesome game keep it going.


53

+ LILBUDDY2000 on December 18th, 2009 at 7:17 pm said:

Congrats…well deserved! Long live adventure games.


54

+ Blkant on December 18th, 2009 at 7:18 pm said:

First one was better, had a nice spooky feel at times (<3 sanctuary) and a better ending (the horror twist). Plus more history involved with the story and better platforming moments. Good, but the first had more heart and originality I feel.


55

+ R1LEY62 on December 18th, 2009 at 7:27 pm said:

where lbp update?


56

+ R1LEY62 on December 18th, 2009 at 7:28 pm said:

LBP UPDATE????????????????????????????????


57

+ bmart008 on December 18th, 2009 at 8:17 pm said:

Congrats on an awesome game, you deserve every accolade you receive. Uncharted 2 is a spectacular game, you guys at Naughty Dog could show Hollywood a thing or two about making an exciting experience too. Looking forward to Uncharted 3!


58

+ sethchilders on December 18th, 2009 at 8:20 pm said:

Congrats Naughty Dog; you earned it!


59

+ twistedfloyd on December 18th, 2009 at 8:35 pm said:

Nice work you guys! You deserve it. This is definitely one of my favorite games I’ve ever played. The single player is epic, online is a blast as well. You guys turned it up ten notches from the first one and I really couldn’t believe how much better it was than Drake’s Fortune. The first game is a very good game. Among Thieves is a masterpiece.


60

+ SPOPS on December 18th, 2009 at 9:11 pm said:

The awards were well deserved. Congrats to all of the dogs… The game is by far my favorite game of all time.


61

+ Thrasher20 on December 18th, 2009 at 9:27 pm said:

Snoitalutargnoc ot lla eht srenniw :)


62

+ Erniejpan on December 18th, 2009 at 10:23 pm said:

Gratz all ND team and SCE!

Jeff!
nice story for What We Read

http://www.psu.com/PlayStations-New-Golden-Age-Feature–a008444-p0.php


63

+ ICE-BEAM- on December 18th, 2009 at 10:31 pm said:

i just want a game that i can make use of this ps3…i just hate i have a ps3 with 120gb brand new like maybe 2 months old and it just…sits…i’ll try this uncharted 2 i guess…


64

+ letherclad on December 18th, 2009 at 10:52 pm said:

Congrats! I was rooting for you!


65

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

Naughty Dog definitely deserved it and thanks for giving us your part of the story on it, Mr. Wells.

The game is beautiful and I play it everynight.


66

+ SPK_Solidus5 on December 19th, 2009 at 12:56 am said:

By now its impossible to find a Modnation Racers beta code, but as for Uncharted 2 I beilieve it was a great game and it was cool how they put a public beta (online demo) on the PSN store, everyone could download and play the game if they wanted to, Everyone got a taste of some of the different game modes in the game and the game ends up a huge success, keep up the great work Naughty Dog, can’t wait to get Uncharted 2 for Christmas


67

+ Shinra_Soilder on December 19th, 2009 at 2:01 am said:

A much deserved reward for Naughty Dog.
You guys just made a game that I will be playing over and over until I’m too senile to play. It’s an experience that I just want to share with everyone who plays video games. I want everyone to experience the story you guys have crafted and polished into a legendary masterpiece.
The Uncharted series to date is the only video game that I truly want to play from beginning to end even if I know the outcome. Continue the great work Naughty Dog. Look forward to your next great hit.


68

+ muziqaz on December 19th, 2009 at 2:21 am said:

congrats, really amazing game.
And for those who think that MW2 had to get this award: do not mix popularity with quality ;)


69

+ COMBATCSOLDIER on December 19th, 2009 at 4:07 am said:

Great Job and Many Praises to you Naughty Dog. I am so very proud of you guys. The hours and dedication that you put into your products is truly admirable. If you guys were my soldiers then you would already be recommended for many promotions. By far one of the best games I have played and thats saying a lot considering I have been gaming for over 20 years. God Bless you guys and welcome to officially being known as the power house of the gaming world =}


70

+ Scampie on December 19th, 2009 at 5:06 am said:

Congrats ND! You guys really deserve it


71

+ squizzerls on December 19th, 2009 at 5:14 am said:

Congrats, Naughty Dog you earned it. Whether you choose to do Uncharted 3 or something else I’m there, loved your work since the first Crash Bandicoot. A few more challenging puzzles would be nice in the next Uncharted. But congrats and thank you.


72

+ fiskycatcha on December 19th, 2009 at 5:23 am said:

well it’s about time naughty dog gets game of the year ive been with them since the beginning with jak and daxter those were my favorite games ever the fact that naughty dog developed it makes me want to play uncharted so bad but i dont have a ps3


73

+ afaqihi on December 19th, 2009 at 5:57 am said:

Thank you Naughty Dog for making Uncharted 2: Among Thieves an amazing game, and congrats winning Game of The Year Award.


74

+ Berae on December 19th, 2009 at 6:04 am said:

Congrats!


75

+ JaredTequila on December 19th, 2009 at 8:26 am said:

First and foremost, congratulations to Naughty Dog!

Now, that show was bogus! Why are celebrities apparently the only ones who can deliver award winning performances? Nolan North and Claudia Black should have been in Best performances for a Male/Female respectively. The did WAY better than all the celebrity voiceovers in games. You mean to tell me that Meagan Fox, a chick who can’t even act in movies is a better performer in voice acting than Claudia? I think not.

And Jack Black winning was soooo rigged so he could do that whole little bit where he broke the award.

Oh yeah, and how could a game be “Game of the Year” but not win in it’s genre. That’s just plain B.S. Spike rigged it so Naughty Dog wouldn’t win every catagory like what happens at the oscars except that U2 actually deserved everything it got and WAY more. Sorry, it had to be said.

Congrats to Naughty Dog!


76

+ phinnv8 on December 19th, 2009 at 9:37 am said:

#50 I agree.

But congrats on a great new IP guys!


77

+ AJD_L3G3ND on December 19th, 2009 at 10:16 am said:

Nolan North should have beat Jake with out a problem! that award was rigged! They just wanted to give it to Jake so he could be stupid on stage = a VGA fail.


78

+ CerealxKiller13 on December 19th, 2009 at 11:11 am said:

Please add in-game music to this game! Be really appreciated!

Thanks!

Also is there anyway we can fix the PS3 browser? now I can’t even leave comments via PS3 browser?


79

+ saintaqua on December 19th, 2009 at 11:14 am said:

Congrats!! I’m greedy though and think you should have gotten best original soundtrack and voice work as well!!

Please announce Uncharted 3 soon!!! Very soon please!!


80

+ Ryukami_sama on December 19th, 2009 at 11:24 am said:

Congratulations are in order for you guys, Uncharted 2 is an awesome game. I am really looking forward to more of you work, specifically a Jak and Daxter for the PS3 :)


81

+ inuyasha5400 on December 19th, 2009 at 11:33 am said:

in the next patch, can you guys add custom soundtracks?


82

+ kai_l_ash on December 19th, 2009 at 11:36 am said:

congoes….naughty dog.
love ur games( uncharted & UNCHARTED 2)..
cheers :D


83

+ kai_l_ash on December 19th, 2009 at 11:38 am said:

thanku 4 making dis game..


84

+ explosive78 on December 19th, 2009 at 12:02 pm said:

congratulations! Amazing game.


85

+ Ninja8827 on December 19th, 2009 at 5:44 pm said:

congrats naughty dog i was almost as excited as you guys when you won


86

+ Heavenly_king on December 19th, 2009 at 8:22 pm said:

Congratulations!!! You deserve the recognition!!
UNCHARTED 2 GAME OF THE YEAR!!! YEAH!!!

PS: I still think KZ2 has the best graphics on a technical point of view XD.


87

+ Gambit07 on December 20th, 2009 at 2:12 am said:

Congrats!


88

+ scorpio182 on December 21st, 2009 at 1:37 pm said:

CONGRATS!!!!!

BEST GAME EVER FOR ME!!


89

+ Einhander138 on December 21st, 2009 at 1:54 pm said:

Congrats, Naughty Dog, at selling out to the jocks and meatheads everywhere while simultaneously murdering the single player game!


90

+ traininvain90 on December 22nd, 2009 at 9:54 am said:

I am SO excited to play this after Christmas! =D


91

+ dezz100 on December 30th, 2009 at 12:49 am said:

Naughty Dog FTW


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