naughty dog

Neil Druckmann Has Suggested That Naughty Dog Will Start Revealing Games Closer To Launch

To combat crunch culture.

Speaking to Comicbook in an interview to promote HBO’s TV adaptation of The Last of Us, which starts airing next week, Neil Druckmann has admitted that announcing upcoming titles too early has had a negative impact on work-life balance at Naughty Dog, suggesting that future titles from the studio might be revealed much closer to their intended launch dates.

The quote from the interview is as below:

“You’re right, we did announce Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us Part 2 way in advance, but that actually caused a little bit of the work-life balance issues that we’ve sometimes had at the studio.

“By delaying that announcement a bit, we could play with the schedule more and we’re more conscious now about how we’re approaching production. So there’s our [The Last of Us] multiplayer project and there’s another project that I will not say anything about that’s beyond that that we’re also very much excited for.”

Issues of crunch at Naughty Dog have been spoken about in the past, so it seems as though Druckmann considers setting a hard release schedule or marketing cycle too early is one of the culprits behind the studio’s struggles with crunch culture.

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It also suggests that when we do next hear about whatever the studio has cooking right now, including its standalone The Last of Us multiplayer game, there’ll be far less of a wait to actually play them.

In another interview with The Washington Post, Druckmann also stated that games like Elden Ring have inspired him from a storytelling perspective, saying “I’m more recently intrigued by stuff like Elden Ring and Inside that doesn’t rely as much on traditional narrative to tell its story.

“Some of the best storytelling in The Last of Us is in the cinematics, but a lot of it is in gameplay, and moving around the space, and understanding the history of a space by just looking at it and examining it. To me, right now, that’s some of the best joy I get out of games that trust their audience to figure things out. That don’t hold your hand, that’s the stuff I’m really intrigued by going forward.”