Naughty Dog, Sony’s first party studio which requires no introduction after making legendary titles and franchises such as Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, Uncharted series and their recent hit, The Last of Us. Neil Druckmann, Creative Director and writer for The Last of Us confirmed at IGDA Toronto keynote that The Last of Us team separate from Uncharted team, was originally working on a Jak and Daxter title for PlayStation 3, rather than a brand new IP.
“Our task was… and this is the first time we’re showing this, to reboot Jak & Daxter. And these are some of the concepts.” said Druckmann. Below you can see images from the keynote showing some kind of Daxter study.
Druckmann stated that the team spent a lot of time exploring the world of Jak and Daxter and the concepts but soon figured out their ideas were moving away from Jak and Daxter and questioned whether they wanted to make the title because of its already established name. The team felt that they weren’t serving the fans even if the redesigned Daxter was “pretty good looking” and asked their boss whether doing Jak and Daxter was something that was needed to be done. The boss replied with no and although it would be easier for them to start with something, they were free to pursue something that they waned to do.
This all led to The Last of Us which had the roots of the ideas way back in 2004 and involved George Romero, the legend when it comes to zombie films, who actually played Druckmann’s prototype zombie game which later formed the basis of The Last of Us when he revisited the characters in a comic book.
Naughty Dog has established itself as the pinnacles of story-driven infused with action and emotion portrayal in games. Their titles are highly received on the platform and their preceding titles always sets the bar higher and higher.
Below you can watch the whole keynote from IGDA Toronto