Naughty Dog’s Last of Us is the Reason There’s No New Jak & Daxter
Sony-exclusive developer Naughty Dog wasn’t always known for its Uncharted franchise. In the PS1 era it was known for launching then-Sony mascot Crash Bandicoot’s career. After that, it handled the reigns for Sony’s Jak & Daxter series – a series which has a good-sized following up to this day.
Now, the developer is mostly known for developing the highly-regarded Uncharted franchise, but Jak & Daxter fans are still waiting for a proper entry in the game franchise for this generation…and it looks like they’ll have to wait a bit more.
In a recent interview with Game Informer, Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells revealed that they looked into it but has forsaken that idea to develop The Last of Us instead.
We’d all talked about it in interviews with fans asking, ‘Where’s the next Jak & Daxter?’ I don’t know if this is going to make them happy or sad, but we did explore the idea fairly extensively
Not only that, but The Last of Us was originally being developed as a new Jak & Daxter until the team realized they were going in a different direction.
Neil Druckmann, creative director of The Last of Us states, “We dug around trying to find the core of Jak and Daxter. Who are the characters? We had to reboot it essentially. Every time we got excited about an idea we’d take a step back and look at it and be like ‘It’s not Jak and Daxter, are we just slapping the name on it for marketing reasons?”
Not only that, but Druckmann added:
It started feeling like a compromise. The more we tried to make Jak and Daxter like we wanted to, it didn’t feel like things were matching up. We have folders and folders filled with scrapped ideas.
Even though we wanted to give fans another Jak and Daxter, we felt we weren’t going to give them the game that they wanted, and that we would end up either limiting the direction that the company had this passion for while simultaneously not creating the game that fans wanted. We just realized we were going to just do everybody a disservice.
In saying all of these, that doesn’t mean Naughty Dog will never go back into the Jak & Daxter franchise again – though the franchise’s fans shouldn’t hold their breath as the developer has its hands full with The Last of Us; and while the team behind the Uncharted franchise can theoretically move on to the Jak & Daxter universe, they’re wary that they’ll face the same pitfalls that have stymied the The Last of Us team.