During the “Inside the Dev Studio” panel at PlayStation Experience Game Director Neil Druckmann talked about the studio’s relationship with Sony and gave more information about the Jak and Daxter sequel/reboot that never happened and then turned into The Last of Us.
Sony has been really kind to us, and I guess we feel really lucky at Naughty Dog is that they leave it up to us, the creative decision on what games we want to work on.
So… The Last of Us started as a sequel to Jak and Daxter, and we felt like we couldn’t find the right combination of story and gameplay to make that work, and we had the freedom to pitch a whole new IP.
So all the pressure comes from internal, within the studio… what is the team jazzed about, what are they excited to work on, and that’s kinda what guides the studio.
Druckmann also mentioned that the work on the Jak and Daxter sequel/reboot lasted for only two months, after which several options were considered, like multiplayer games, titles not based on narrative or first person shooters. That helped the team discover Naughty Dog’s strengths and what they wanted to do, until they started on The Last of Us six months after the end of Uncharted 2‘s production.