Naughty Dog, before the acquisition of Sony and TLOU: a First Party in fact

Naughty Dog, before the acquisition of Sony and TLOU: a First Party in fact

Naughty Dog, before the acquisition of Sony and TLOU

The history of Naughty Dog has distant origins, which have their roots in the heart of the Eighties, to extend up to the birth of the famous Crash Bandicoot.

Among the essential passages in the history of the software house it is placed in particular the development of the first Jak & Daxter, intended to bring the team to PlayStation 2 and pave the way for Sony's future acquisition. Recently, Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin, co-founders of Naughty Dog, were able to recall that period in an interesting interview granted to the editorial staff of Games Radar, in which they paint the details of the relationship with the Japanese giant.

"We worked so closely with Sony, and we got along so well with them, - Rubin and Gavin recall - that we could easily have been a First Party studio. We had no contractual obligations for Jak & Daxter, but Sony was supporting part of costs. So there was a kind of tacit agreement that we would not make another game for Microsoft. " A circumstance on which Eric Iwasaki, at the time Lead Technical Artist in Naughty Dog, also agrees, referring to the relationship with Sony defining it as characterized by "an unusual level of trust". A bond also favored by the history of the software house, which at the time came from 4 years of great videogame successes.

From the creation of the first Jak & Daxter came the acquisition by Sony, which was followed by multiple successful productions, up to the recent The Last of Us: Part 2. At the moment, there is great curiosity about the team's next project, with rumors pointing to a change of course with a PS5 multiplayer game from Naughty Dog.

The Last Of Us developer Naughty Dog making live service multiplayer game

The Last Of Us Part 2 – will the multiplayer be just as big a hit? (pic: Sony)

A job ad from the creators of The Last Of Us is for a multiplayer economy designer, suggesting that the game could be free-to-play.

It’s been a couple of weeks since job ads have revealed secrets that games companies would probably rather have kept to themselves, and this one involves a new multiplayer game by The Last Of Us Part 2 developer Naughty Dog.

Naughty Dog has already announced they’re working on a multiplayer mode, or possibly standalone game, derived from The Last Of Us Part 2 but the job ad doesn’t mention the name of the project.

What it does describe though is a role for a ‘multiplayer economy designer’ who will have to ‘collaborate extensively with Live Ops team to optimise economy’, which makes it sound a lot like a games as a service title.

Following the success of Destiny, games as a service titles seemed poised to become the next big thing, with many publishers rushing to create games that are designed to run indefinitely, with a constant stream of new content and a reliance on microtransactions.



Free-to-play game such as Fortnite and Apex Legends have continued to be a success but paid-for titles, from Anthem to Marvel’s Avengers, have frequently struggled and have become increasingly uncommon.

However, it is entirely possible that Naughty Dog’s game is also free-to-play, which would make these features far more palatable, especially the reference to having to ‘tune game economy and player progression systems’ – which sounds a lot like a battle pass style system.

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A free-to-play game, whether related to The Last Of Us or not, would be a change of pace for Naughty Dog, but then so would a solely multiplayer game.

It wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise though as the multiplayer for the original The Last Of Us was excellent and yet ended up being overshadowed by the story campaign, and so ignored by many.

How major a release the multiplayer game will be for the studio remains to be seen but they’ve previously indicated that their next big game will either be The Last Of Us Part 3 or a brand new IP.

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