Naughty Dog Hasn’t Ruled out a New Crash Bandicoot, Jak 4, or an Uncharted Remaster
Naughty Dog has never been known to completely scrap an idea before it happens, and when it comes to the studios’ previous work, it’s not something it intends to start doing. In a recent conversation with IGN, Naughty Dog community strategist Arne Meyer talked about the possibility of classic Naughty Dog icons such as Crash Bandicoot or Jak and Daxter returning, and though there are no immediate plans, such ideas are “never off the table.”
When asked about those franchises specifically, Meyer had the following to say.
It’s not too much time passing, but it’s the same issues we explored with the Jak game. Is it something that makes sense to us now? I mean, we still have people that worked on the Crash games in the studio. We never forget our past and it’d be great for nostalgic reasons. It’d be the same reason as why there isn’t a Jak 4: I don’t know if it’s playing to our strengths right now.
Right now, what’s exciting everyone at the studio is continuing to work on narrative-driven games with strong characters. I think, at least for the time being, we haven’t exhausted the possibilities there, but that could change with something as simple as hardware. That’s what drove it before. I think we’re on to something really good though creating character-driven stories so that’s where our focus is going to be.
It comes back to our decision making process, whether it feels right. With Jak at that time we were really focused on making games grounded in a stylised but realistic world, and if you tried to transfer Jak to that you lose a lot of what made him special. It doesn’t mean though that at no point in the future will we get good at making stylised artificial universes however, and then it’ll work.
Though Meyer’s reply is a bit of a non-answer, it’s very true that a new Jak or Crash title would release into a world far different from the one in which they last appeared. Since beginning the Uncharted series, Naughty Dog have become masters of narrative driven games. Do they currently have what it takes to abruptly churn out a top-notch platformer in a world that has since been inhabited by Rayman Legends and Super Mario Galaxy? As Meyer says, the team could likely pull it off with enough planning at some point in the future. But it may be too much of an about-face to try anytime soon.
Luckily, Naughty Dog’s plot-heavy games have only gotten better, and it seems the studio is a bit closer to considering an Uncharted remaster than a complete re-imagining of a dormant franchises. For an Uncharted redo specifically, it simply comes down to internal prioritization.
It’d be nice. It’s always nice to find ways to try and expand your audience. I don’t know how we’d ever pull that [an Uncharted Remaster] off, but I don’t want to say we wouldn’t do it. I think if everything aligns, we should make an attempt to look into it and do it as well.
It’s certainly interesting to hear about Naughty Dog’s process, and also a bit enlightening. It reminds us that no studio, no matter how talented, is equipped to tackle any genre at any given time on a high level. Luckily, it seems as though Naughty Dog intends to deliver what fans want in the long run. Crash Bandicoot lovers may just have to wait a bit longer than everyone else.