If there's one thing that we know about Naughty Dog, it's that the studio doesn't like to rest on its laurels. It shouldn't be a surprise to discover that it's got its nose to the grindstone and is in the early stages of a future project, but what could it be?
Following the rapturous release of The Last Of Us Part 2 in June 2020, the company took this opportunity to shuffle its staff. Creative director Neil Druckmann is now one of the co-presidents of Naughty Dog, and former co-director of programming and director of operations Christian Gyrling and Alison Mori are now vice presidents. Druckmann affirmed that he will balance these new responsibilities alongside his role as a director and writer, and it just so happens that he will be collaborating with former lead game designers Richard Cambier and Vinit Agarwal, who are the director and co-director on an unannounced undertaking.
Eagle-eyed fans spotted that Agarwal cut their teeth developing multiplayer titles, which may mean that this team is focusing on the multiplayer mode for The Last Of Us Part 2. "You will eventually experience the fruits of our team's online ambition, but not as part of The Last of Us Part 2," explained Naughty Dog in 2019. "When and where it will be realized is still to be determined." The shortest of snippets of what might have been a multiplayer mode for the game appeared in August 2020, showing a player-controlled Seraphite darting around Seattle, and another person playing as Mel in a snowy area. Seeing as the studio didn't acknowledge these videos, we aren't able to say for sure.
Come work with us! We're making something very cool! https://t.co/ZGU6W3cAKU
- Dr. Uckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) January 14, 2021
Crucially, this occurred before those aforementioned staff moved up the ladder in their various lines of work, so it's possible that this new project is not related to that. Druckmann has shared the company's current lot of job opportunities to his Twitter account, and there are 34 new positions in total. The majority of these openings are seeking artists, animators, and programmers, which infer that the game will be of the highly realistic and cinematic art style of Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us Part 2. The creative director has previously stated that a Part 3 isn't out of the question, but it's equally likely that Naughty Dog has been given the reins of a brand new IP.
Their track record of building new franchises is as solid as a rock, no, as solid as a set of pure gold bars. Actually, gold is quite a soft metal, so let's not look into that simile too closely. I only mean the studio has been able to deliver critically and commercially successful games over and over for Sony, and as a result, Naughty Dog might have been afforded greater creative freedom than before. We'll have to wait and see what it's cooking up, but when we hear more, you'll be the first to know.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read