Uncharted 4 Lead MP Designer Robert Cogburn Accused of Sexual Harassment by Former Naughty Dog Dev
Another chapter on the unfortunate sexual harassment accusation made by a former Naughty Dog employee against a ‘lead’ developer just opened.
You might remember that in late October last year, former Naughty Dog Environment Artist David Ballard claimed he was sexually harassed while working at the studio. A statement from Naughty Dog quickly followed, claiming that after an internal investigation no such evidence emerged. A few days later, reporter Megan Farokhmanesh also said a Naughty Dog developer acted inappropriately towards her.
Eventually, the dust seemed to settle around this case. However, David Ballard (who is now working as Game Designer at Giant Squid, the studio behind ABZÛ) didn’t really feel he got the justice he deserved. Earlier this week, he made that very clear in a series of tweets posted on his account.
It’s been 2 and a half years since I was sexually harassed at Naughty Dog by a lead. And 2 years and 2 months since I told Sony PlayStation HR that I was sexually harassed and then promptly fired. I still don’t feel like I have the dignity or respect because of it.
I empathize. I feel like I’ve been abandoned. I admire your strength.
If Sony PlayStation came out and said, yes, he’s telling the truth, I’d be so relieved and happy.
I mean, do I need to name the harasser to get justice
And that’s exactly what he did a few hours ago.
His name is Robert Cogburn. Former Naughty Dog co-president Christophe Balestra accused me of wanting to fire Robert when I told him I couldn’t work with him anymore. HR was present. And it was Sony PlayStation HR Heather Zavadil who I told about the harassment.
Robert Cogburn has worked on games like Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, The Last of us and its Left Behind DLC, and was Lead Multiplayer Designer for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. On January 28th, he announced to have left Naughty Dog for an unspecified role at Wonderstorm, a startup working on a Netflix Original animated series as well as a game set in the same world.
As Ballard decided to provided names, we expect responses to come in swiftly from Naughty Dog and Cogburn himself. Stay tuned for further updates.