After completing development on Uncharted 2, or sometime thereabouts, developer Naughty Dog split into two teams. That first team went on to work on a follow-up to Uncharted 2, the obviously titled Uncharted 3, while the other team got started on The Last of Us, which releases this June.

So, as we anxiously anticipate the release of Naughty Dog’s post apocalyptic survival title, gamers are also left wondering about that other team, and what they might be working on. Could it be a new Uncharted for the PS4, or something else? Either way, we may have our first clue.

The sleuths at IGN have discovered a background desktop image hidden in a developer diary for The Last of Us that shows what appear to be two character models. While those characters could easily be designs for The Last of Us, they appear to be wearing much more ornate clothing — outfits that are not practical when trying to survive a viral outbreak.

Of course, if these designs are not for The Last of Us, they must be for a future Naughty Dog project. IGN’s theory suggests the game involves pirates, but the image (even when enhanced twice) is still hard to decipher.

Given that the Uncharted franchise deals with hidden treasures, and ancient explorers, one could reasonably guess the designs are for Uncharted 4, but again it’s hard to tell. Neither of the characters looks like Drake, although the faces do appear to be blank. At the same time, these might just be costume mock-ups meant to be worn by more recognizable characters later.

Naughty Dog has a reputation of teasing their future projects with current projects (see: The Last of Us teaser in Uncharted 3), so at the very least we have to assume the image was left unblurred for a reason. In fact, The Last of Us might be part of an even grander teaser campaign, with a date that may or may not be the PS4 release date.

All we know for sure at this point is that Naughty Dog — one of Sony‘s remaining exclusive developers — is working on something for the PS4. At their PlayStation Meeting, Sony said they still had more software to show, so perhaps this game will be revealed during the publisher’s E3 2013 Press Conference.

What do you make of the character models? Do you think they are for a future Naughty Dog game? If so, are they for another Uncharted or something else?

The Last of Us releases June 14, 2013 for the PS3.

Source: IGN