During the last two console generations, Naughty Dog has only developed Uncharted and The Last of Us projects, leaving behind the likes of their previous work with Jak and Daxter and Crash Bandicoot (the latter of which is an Activision property now). With work on The Last of Us Part II complete, studio VP and Part II Creative Director Neil Druckmann is already looking to the future. It seems nothing is set in stone as of yet. However, Druckmann has revealed Naughty Dog’s next venture could either be a third TLoU entry or something entirely new.
Druckmann recently spoke with GQ about his original doubts regarding the development of a sequel. The first game’s ending is sacred, he noted. Many fans wanted a follow-up that wasn’t about Joel and Ellie, one that instead focused on other sections of the globe. Druckmann considers this the “coward’s way out.” Thus, he chose to “dismantle” ideas about the ending that some may hold dear.
So what might this mean for Naughty Dog once Part II is officially in the wild? According to the studio exec, “as you start wrapping things up, creatively there are fewer and fewer responsibilities and my mind can’t help but think about the next thing. So, yeah, the next thing could be a Part III, the next thing could be some new IP.”
Since the developer has spent over a decade on the same two franchises, it’d be nice to see the team explore other options. Who knows, though? Perhaps Part II will end in such a way that demands a third installment. And even if it doesn’t, Part II was made following a game that very much could have stood on its own. Fans can determine that much for themselves very soon.
Naughty Dog’s eagerly anticipated sequel hits stores for the PlayStation 4 on June 19th.