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Naughty Dog’s next PlayStation game could “redefine” mainstream gaming

The next Naughty Dog game that Neil Druckmann’s working on could hit the mainstream in the same way as PlayStation hit The Last of Us’ TV adaptation did.

Naught y Dog new game redefine mainstream preceptions of gaming: Ellie next to the PS logo

Saturday, May 25, 2024 Neil Druckmann has clarified that Sony took his comments out of context in this interview, and has a provided a full response on social media. This article has been updated to reflect that.

Naughty Dog has a bit of a penchant for innovation. Between triple-A PlayStation big hitters like Uncharted and The Last of Us, the studio has always looked to push the boundaries of storytelling through its games. As gaming itself has progressively entered mainstream media, it’s no longer considered the geeky, odd cousin in the arts family. Perhaps it’s because we’ve now all collectively given into our nerdiest instincts or otherwise, but what is certain is that Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann is looking to push the needle even further.

At least, that’s what he tells Sony as part of a new interview discussing how gaming and the creative space will develop over the next decade. Having co-directed both The Last of Us games and Uncharted 4, Druckmann’s worked on some of the best games out there. On top of that, he also worked extensively on TLoU’s hit TV adaptation, which Druckmann says “spotlighted gaming, illustrating the rich, immersive experiences it offers.”

I can imagine that these are some of the “dream projects” Druckmann describes in the Q&A, though his attention quickly turns to the new PS5 game he’s working on. Described by Druckmann last year as “really ambitious,” Naughty Dog’s next project is looking to once again break new ground. “I’m eager to see how this new game resonates,” Druckmann tells Sony, “especially following the success of The Last of Us, as it could redefine mainstream perceptions of gaming.”

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Big words, eh? However, Druckmann has clarified that this isn’t exactly what was said in the full interview.

Though it’s all very hush-hush on the specifics for now, Druckmann previously told Logically Speaking that the game has been “really hard” on himself and the team so far, though he’s been doing his best to make it as much of a “joyous experience” as possible. He also noted that The Last of Us 2 co-director Kurt Margenau is working on it, so expect more heat from their collaborative efforts.

As Druckmann states, “there’s a growing appreciation for gaming that transcends all age groups” that provides plenty of creative opportunities – especially with the advancement of, and interplay between, creative technology across formats. If Naughty Dog can pull off a game that gets the same sort of mainstream response as The Last of Us’ TV adaptation did, then that would be huge.

For more of the latest on the biggest and best PS5 games out there, check out my wishlist for ShiftUp if it greenlights Stellar Blade 2. If you’re currently on the XDefiant grind, then don’t forget to claim these PS Plus freebies – thank me later.