Sony’s Visual Arts Development Studio–the “secret” San Diego team believed to be working on a new Uncharted entry–recently attracted new talent. Apparently, the recruit is Zak Oliver, a former Environment Artist for Naughty Dog who worked on the studio’s last four projects, including The Last of Us Part II. According to Oliver’s newly updated LinkedIn page, he left Naughty Dog in June and soon thereafter joined the San Diego team in question as a Senior Environment Artist.
Oliver’s hiring seems to add more fuel to the rumors that suggest the San Diego studio is hard at work on another Uncharted project. While there exists no undeniable proof that Uncharted counts as the team’s first game, there’s plenty to suggest it will serve as another narrative-focused adventure for Sony’s catalogue. This most notably holds true given a job listing from late 2018, wherein Sony sought out a Lead Character Artist in San Diego for the “next chapter of cinematic storytelling.”
Word about this not-so-secretive studio first began making the rounds in April 2018. This information also entered public consciousness thanks to a job listing posted by the publisher. At the time, it was merely known that Sony was in search of a Gameplay Engineer for a team created alongside the Visual Arts Service Group (VASG). In particular, VASG’s specialty is in animation and motion capture. The crew has most notably taken part in the production of exclusives like Death Stranding, God of War, and Uncharted.
When Sony intends to unveil its secretive San Diego-based team remains to be seen.