Naughty Dog reportedly developing new project with PlayStation Visual Arts

A recent job listing for a senior role at PlayStation indicates that Naughty Dog’s next project will be a collaboration with PlayStation’s Visual Arts studio. That role lists “a new internal game development team in partnership with PSS Visual Arts,” and calls it a “high visibility project” developed alongside both studios. 

The inclusion of both Naughty Dog and PlayStation Visual Arts is important to note. Prior to the release of the former’s recent The Last of Us remake, it was a project originally worked on by Visual Arts, which had previously been a support team for various first-party PlayStation developers.

Per a report 2021 from Bloomberg’s Jason Schrier, the remake’s development was moved over to Naughty Dog, after which several Visual Arts staffers left the studio. 

Notably, this unannounced triple-A title will also be the first title that Naughty Dog has openly worked on with another developer. In Bloomberg’s report, not being openly credited was said to have been a point of contention among members of Visual Arts’ staff. 

What will Naughty Dog’s future be in service to?

Whether it’s working with a developer or creating a game solo, the future of Naughty Dog, and how it aligns with Sony’s overall plans, is becoming a bit difficult to determine. 

In the immediate future, it’s known that Naughty Dog is working on a standalone multiplayer experience for The Last of Us. Multiplayer is an area the developer has experience in, but remains a notable departure from its previous attention-grabbing single-player experiences.

Earlier in the year, recruiter Christina-Marie Drake wrote on LinkedIn that she was helping to build future teams “for not only new titles, but for the legacy of Uncharted.” The franchise that catapulted the studio to blockbuster prestige bowed out with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in 2017, with it and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End having recently been brought to PC. 

Going back to The Last of Us, director Neil Druckmann has shown interest in continuing the post-apocalyptic franchise after 2020’s The Last of Us Part II. He’s previously said an outline for a hypothetical third title was made. 

At the same time as all of this, Sony has made quite clear they’ve an interest in breaking into the live service games market. Earlier in the month, there were rumors of a multiplayer experience for Guerilla Games’ Horizon franchise in the works. 

Additionally, Jetpack Interactive, developer of God of War 2018’s PC port, said it was developing a live service title based on one of Sony’s “flagship franchises.” 

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