Interviews are always served with a side-dish of ambiguity, but speaking to Game Informer, Naughty Dog’s Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra have revealed quite a few details on how the company works, and more specifically, what they might be working on.
Firstly, on the “exodus” which has appeared to be happening over the last few months, where key members of the development team including Uncharted lead writer Amy Hennig, left the company and had even claimed to be “forced out”, they simply brushed off the claims, saying that it’s a “stark contrast to the feeling here at the studio” and that it’s not significant in the long term.
But then Game Informer discuss the two-team structure, where you might remember that The Last of Us was in production while Uncharted 3 was being completed, with Neil Druckmann taking creative control on the second project. Christophe explains that it’s not quite as clear cut as that: “I think we’ve always had two main things going on, so that’s where the “two teams” [concept] came from.”
Evan states that they’re working on four different “significant” things. Two of those, at least, are The Last of Us Remastered and Uncharted 4, and one could be The Last of Us DLC, which seems to have still been in production at the time of the interview:
We’ve got the Uncharted project, which we’ve talked about, we’ve got DLC for The Last of Us, and we’ve got the remastered version [of The Last of Us]. We’ve got other projects in the works that are in the very early stages. We have at least four different pretty significant things going on right now.
So, any hopes for The Last of Us 2? Well, Evan says that their vision is not two teams, but two franchises at the same time: “Two teams is probably not the best description, but two franchises is a good way to put it.”
Whether that means that a sequel to The Last of Us is in production or not is a tough one – this bit is still quite ambiguous, and they could of course just mean that they want two things in the works at the same time, rather than actually having two things in production right now. Of course, the four “significant things” statement goes against that, but who knows whether they’ll actually come to fruition.
All eyes on Sony’s E3 conference next week, where we’ll hopefully see more of Uncharted on PS4, find out a release date for The Last of Us Remastered, and maybe catch a glimpse of anything else that Naughty Dog might be working on.