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make.believe: From Programmer to Naughty Dog Co-President

Scott Rohde's Avatar + Posted by Scott Rohde on Feb 19, 2010 // SVP of Product Development, Worldwide Studios America, SCEA

You’ve probably seen Sony’s global “make.believe” (pronounced “make-dot-believe”) initiative by now, which comes with a simple message: believe that anything you can imagine, you can make real. I know a lot of you have heard the name Christophe Balestra, and like many of you out there, his make.believe moment is taking place every day. Christophe, along with co-president Evan Wells and the entire team at Naughty Dog, have been creating amazing games for the PlayStation family since the mid-nineties, when Crash Bandicoot made his debut on the original PlayStation. Since then, the Dogs have brought us the incredible Jak and Daxter franchise of adventure games, and of course, the critically acclaimed UNCHARTED series, including the latest award winning title, UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves. Naughty Dog has played a huge role in shaping the action adventure genre as we know it today, and their games have greatly influenced my own personal gaming experience.

It’s no surprise that Naughty Dog’s unique combination of storytelling cinematics, frantic action sequences, challenging traversal and tricky puzzle solving has been recognized across the industry and worldwide. Last evening in Las Vegas, UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves took the Interactive Achievement Awards by storm, grabbing ten awards, the most for any one title. It also won “Overall Game of the Year” for 2009, which is the second time PlayStation has been awarded this coveted honor by the academy. UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves has also garnered more than 150 other industry awards, has over 1.5 million online users worldwide, and has surpassed 3.5 million copies sold worldwide – the fastest selling first-party title for PlayStation. Not to mention, it’s established a new standard for games developed on the PS3 platform.

We’re incredibly excited to see all of the continued innovations and platform-defining games that will come from the creative minds at Naughty Dog. Giving consumers a reason to be excited about video games is our “make.believe” promise and we’re thrilled to have Naughty Dog to help us make this a reality. With that, I’d like to share with you Christophe’s “make.believe” story from his point of view:

//Add Your Own

45 Comments

1

+ Kchow23 on February 19th, 2010 at 3:07 pm said:

Love these videos.. definitely inspiring!


2

+ Plankfan on February 19th, 2010 at 3:10 pm said:

Awesome!


3

+ IISanitariumII on February 19th, 2010 at 3:15 pm said:

Sony is an inspiring company and to have them have dedicated employees and fans like, Christophe Balestra and Naughty Dog then this company and it’s team can shape the future of gaming as we know. It’s great to be a part of the sony family and franchise. And they have inspired me to become a part-time journalist for video games thanks you guys god bless you all!


4

+ godmodegrafix on February 19th, 2010 at 3:21 pm said:

i believe i can be a professional gamer if sony gives me the chance


5

+ TheKonspiracy98 on February 19th, 2010 at 3:22 pm said:

Amazing street sign guy FTW! :)


6

+ D1renegade on February 19th, 2010 at 3:26 pm said:

I believe


7

+ footballrule on February 19th, 2010 at 3:31 pm said:

Very nice! What exactly is Make Believe? What is Sony planing to do with it? Can someone inform me?


8

+ ima_hustla_19 on February 19th, 2010 at 3:33 pm said:

i hope they put that on tv cuz thats a great commercial 4 sony


9

+ poweredbyzen on February 19th, 2010 at 3:33 pm said:

uh, the banner-tosser actually “stole” the video!


10

+ poodude on February 19th, 2010 at 3:58 pm said:

Naughty Dog are the greatest developers ever!!!


11

+ theteam916 on February 19th, 2010 at 4:20 pm said:

wow he can sure flipped the board


12

+ xiked on February 19th, 2010 at 4:54 pm said:

3,5 million? a week ago if I remember right Sony said nearing 3 million..has it start to sell faster or is it information going wrong at sony…

Usually games tend to sell less the older the game gets…

well IM happy for SONY and Naughty Dog! Fantastic game and every PS3 owner should have this game!

BTW…1.5 million online players? is it every week or has 1.5 million once played? Because it says +65k a day playing UC2 in the game lobby…

Clarify?


13

+ cell989 on February 19th, 2010 at 4:56 pm said:

awesome true story


14

+ ParadoX444 on February 19th, 2010 at 4:58 pm said:

I’m a paralegal student because my of grandpa he was a lawyer, my dream is to be a music producer which I’m good at, these segments really inspire me. Thanks guys.


15

+ pm85 on February 19th, 2010 at 5:15 pm said:

i couldda sworn Kevin BUtler was VP of Product Development tho. I could be wrong ;)

but great vid


16

+ Firelli00 on February 19th, 2010 at 5:23 pm said:

damn if they used a bitrate higher than 10 for that video it just might be easier on the eyes :|


17

+ RLx3 on February 19th, 2010 at 5:24 pm said:

@ 12
The lobby number isn’t the total worldwide, it’s just the amount of people on your part of the server, or something to that affect.


18

+ aranben1 on February 19th, 2010 at 5:55 pm said:

What’s that saying? Fortune favours the bold?


19

+ NITROWOLF_2 on February 19th, 2010 at 5:58 pm said:

great video i have seen them all and i am currently pursing a life of an animator (but not for sony,mybe i might get lucky though)
btw will we possible see a HR trailer commercial on T.V with Lambart(i think i spelt that right) and a God of war 3 one(although i would like to see a classic trailer of it to, lol. “Kevin Butler VP of decapitation:”


20

+ Jeigh on February 19th, 2010 at 6:34 pm said:

I’ve seriously got to get me one of those banner-spinner guys to just follow me around all day with one that says “is Awesome.”


21

+ stormtooper on February 19th, 2010 at 7:14 pm said:

very good…. this gives me the idea and the knowledge that i and anyone out there can be what they want to be, and what ever they think of they can make it come true with a little hard work.

SONY is just that company that is making dreams a reality…. Keep up the good work!


22

+ BiezulbubBill69 on February 19th, 2010 at 7:19 pm said:

Sony always wins, baby.


23

+ NYCthebest14345 on February 19th, 2010 at 7:51 pm said:

hey do you guys (Naughty Dog) have any intentions of bring back Crash Bandicoot


24

+ Zookey on February 19th, 2010 at 8:27 pm said:

Very inspirational!

As part of this Make.Believe thing, you guys should STRONGLY consider bringing PlayStation C.A.M.P. stateside or re-instating the Yarouze program for us indys–there is a lot of us out there (myself and my crew, Team KAIZEN, included) that want to follow Balestra’s footsteps and make astounding exclusives for PlayStation.

You guys could make Make.Believe something like Pepsi’s Refresh Project :-) (shameless plug–my team is in the running for 50k so we can finish the tech demo we’re working on for free and repitch to you guys please check out http://www.refresheverything.com/gfgames )

But yeah, back on topic, this was a good commercial.


25

+ Bris_Blade on February 19th, 2010 at 8:38 pm said:

Nice Vid,Go ND and Sony!!


26

+ TheChief04 on February 19th, 2010 at 9:43 pm said:

like the commerical. nd deserves all the credit. uncharted was amazing but uncharted 2 blew me away. the game has everything. i like all the characters and the multiplayer is amazing. i cant wait to see what nd is planning next. besides dlc for uncharted 2


27

+ Peggion on February 19th, 2010 at 10:54 pm said:

“It also won “Overall Game of the Year” for 2009, which is the second time PlayStation has been awarded”

2006 – Overall Game of the Year – God of War
2008 – Overall Game of the Year – Little Big Planet
2009 – Game of the Year – Uncharted 2

So it not second, but third right?


28

+ Kartik21 on February 20th, 2010 at 12:05 am said:

3.5 million omg. that is great love you guys.


29

+ izomax on February 20th, 2010 at 12:56 am said:

inspiring!


30

+ Demonized on February 20th, 2010 at 12:59 am said:

Wow 3.5 million copies sold, that’s fantastic. I don’t care much for sales figures but it’s niceto see Naughty Dog have the commercial success to go along with the amazing critical success they have had with Uncharted 2.

Looking forward to Drake’s next adventure!


31

+ kareltje32 on February 20th, 2010 at 1:01 am said:

Applaus ND for a amazing game that has a addictive multiplayer and a killer single player.


32

+ maddymad on February 20th, 2010 at 1:04 am said:

Awesome video. Very inspiring.


33

+ taurus82 on February 20th, 2010 at 2:13 am said:

I’m looking forward to Naughty Dog reviving their past IP’s Dream Zone, Keef the Thief, Rings of Power and Way of the Warrior.


34

+ lmike1234 on February 20th, 2010 at 2:49 am said:

I really love the videos! Weird, Interesting, and very Creative!.


35

+ Frejim on February 20th, 2010 at 7:23 am said:

Congratz!


36

+ yzfmike on February 20th, 2010 at 10:21 am said:

Who is that juggler? A name please so we can throw kudos towards him.


37

+ dereth on February 20th, 2010 at 10:25 am said:

Seriously ND, epic job. UC2 is amazing.


38

+ improperlyaged on February 20th, 2010 at 10:41 am said:

Um 3.5m seriously? Love the game but I could swear recent sales data puts it at less than 3. Oh well it seriously should be selling even better. Anyone who bought modern warfare 2 or assassin’s creed 2 needs to buy this game. They both are outselling uncharted 2 and yet uncharted 2 is by far better than both. I own all three. Uncharted 2 rocks. Naughty dog should be proud they did a great job.


39

+ Hazelhurst on February 20th, 2010 at 1:47 pm said:

I want that Naughty Dog shirt. Great video ND!


40

+ kristophergrin on February 20th, 2010 at 1:48 pm said:

great job.
Uncharted 2 is one of my favourite games of all time. I can only safely assume Naughty Dog will have games nothing short of a Spectacular caliber up their sleeves in the upcoming future.


41

+ CDubyahS on February 20th, 2010 at 2:45 pm said:

cool post for a saturday afternoon =)


42

+ Thrasher20 on February 20th, 2010 at 3:49 pm said:

Nice video. Looks like it’s been made by using only one camcorder LOL


43

+ muzzar69 on February 20th, 2010 at 11:46 pm said:

so when is the crash bandicoot remake coming out?
come on ND we all know its coming, there is no point denying it.
all i ask is take your time, dont rush it.
crash bandicoot is my favorite game of all time, i would be crushed to see it re-released and be a rushed mess.


44

+ iruhlman on February 21st, 2010 at 10:52 am said:

@xiked
it’s not playing at 1 time just total UU’s (unique users) last u checkbot was around 55k.

for example COD4 on the other console has hit 11 million UU’s, that’s certainly not all at once.


45

+ daryl24680 on February 21st, 2010 at 1:39 pm said:

Sony Make.Believe – Believe that curiosity is the key to creativity. Believe that anything you can imagine, you can make real. (Of of the Sony website)


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