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Naughty Dog Environment Artist Andrew Watkins joins Microsoft's Ninja Theory

Uncharted 4
Uncharted 4 (Image credit: Sony)

What you need to know

  • Ninja Theory is a United Kingdom studio known for Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and other games.
  • It recently became a part of Xbox Game Studios.
  • The team recently hired Naughty Dog Environment Artist Andrew Watkins.
  • Ninja Theory is currently working on Bleeding Edge and Senua's Saga: Hellblade II.

Recently, Microsoft set up new studios and acquired a lot of teams like Playground Games, Obsidian Entertainment, and Ninja Theory. The Initiative is Microsoft's new studio based in Santa Monica, California. The team is tasked with creating "AAAA" games that represent the highest quality. The Initiative has been hiring a lot of incredible developers from Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica, but it looks like Ninja Theory also managed to attract incredible talent.

Today, a post on NeoGAF revealed that Naughty Dog Environment Artist Andrew Watkins has left Naughty Dog after nine years and now works for Ninja Theory. We were able to verify this on LinkedIn (opens in new tab) and can confirm that he's now a Senior Environment Artist at Ninja Theory since December 2019.

It's great to see that Ninja Theory is attracting high-quality talent after joining Xbox Game Studios. The Senua's Saga: Hellblade II reveal blew everyone away at The Game Awards 2019, and we can't wait to see what Watkins does at the studio. Hopefully, the game will be a larger adventure this time around. We're hoping for a semi-open-world stucture because linear games aren't really that popular nowadays in my opinion.

What do you hope to see in Hellblade II? Let us know. The in-engine trailer was quite spectacular and, hopefully, the gameplay will be of similar visual quality. As always, the title will be part of Xbox Game Pass so you can access it as part of your subscription.

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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

3 Comments
  • Andrew Watkins is a really lauded Environment artist as well. Great to see Ninja Theory add such talent to its already amazing team of developers.
  • Great news. His talent will be put to good use.
  • Am I the only one annoyed that, for the sequel to Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, they're flip-flopping the order to Senua's Saga: Hellblade II? Just call it Hellblade II: Senua's Saga.