With four games, two spin-offs, a remastered HD collection and various other appearances, nearly everybody has heard of the legendary PlayStation duo that is Jak & Daxter. Best known for their wide open worlds, quirky characters and immersive story, the games were a huge hit and a highly profitable franchise. So profitable, inf act, that many expect the duo to make a return on the new Sony platform.
At a presentation on the history of the Uncharted series that took place at EGX 2015, Naughty Dog Community Strategist Arne Meyer was asked by a member of the audience about the possibility of a Jak & Daxter reboot. And while his answer doesn’t shut the door completely, it doesn’t offer much hope either.
As many fans of the series know, game directors Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley were initially charged with rebooting the franchise in an effort that eventually ended up with the creation of The Last of Us. Despite this earlier project, Meyer claims that the studio currently has no plans for a reboot to the best-selling duo, though he says the studio may one day ‘re-evaluate’ their decision to stay away from stylized games series such as Jak & Daxter or Crash Bandicoot.
“If you look at the concept art, Jak kind of looks weird, ‘anthropomorphized’, and realistic, and we knew that as a studio we were pushing towards grounded or more realistic games; this stylized realism concept – and Jak didn’t really fit into that direction that we were headed. So that’s why we ended up scrapping it at that point.
Meyer told the audience member that the company at the moment is more focused on the realistic or grounded side to games but didn’t dash all hope, claiming ‘never say never’. He also guaranteed that Naughty Dog would always re-evaluate revisiting the old Jak & Daxter style games sometime in the future but for now, it’s not the direction the studio is at. This is not the first time we’ve heard these words; back in January, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End writer and long-time lead animator Josh Scherr gave an in-depth interview with Game Informer regarding the history of animation where he stated:
“Animating the stylized stuff is a lot of fun, but the stories that we’re trying to tell right now are a little bit more grounded and a little bit more grown up than they were back in the Jak and Daxter days.”
According to Scherr, the transition to more realistic games has come partly due to the aging and maturing of Naughty Dog’s staff, though he describes the move to realism as being what the market wants. He’s certainly not wrong according to recent sales, with The Last of Us‘s award-winning success spanning two consoles, and the Uncharted series close to releasing another highly anticipated sequel. Returning to their old style may one day be in the cards but for now we’ve got a company that seems intently focused on producing high quality games on a fairly regular basis and that’s nothing to complain about.
At any rate, it seems that it will be a long time before we see any more Jak & Daxter news. Luckily, the main trilogy was remastered back in 2012 as part of the Jak and Daxter Collection for the PS3 and PS Vita.
Is Naughty Dog right to continue only with realistic games? What franchises would you like to see make a comeback? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts.
Source: Game Informer