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

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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:

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