A Naughty Dog developer has been hired by Sony San Diego to work on a new, untitled project. Zak Oliver’s extensive portfolio includes work on both The Last Of Us and this year’s sequel, as well as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and 2017’s spin-off Uncharted: A Lost Legacy. He will serve as a senior environment artist with Sony San Diego for this new project.
Then there’s the burning question. Does Oliver’s transition hint towards a new Uncharted game or an entirely new IP from the studio? For the longest time, Sony San Diego has had ties to the future of the Uncharted franchise, but 2016’s A Thief End all but concluded Nathan Drake’s story. Of course, an epilogue at the end introduced Cassie Drake, Nathan and Elena’s daughter some years into the future.
According to Oliver’s LinkedIn page, he joined Visual Arts Service Group in June 2020, at around the same time The Last Of Us Part II launched, prior to joining Naughty Dog way back in October 2011. Visual Arts have a history with Sony and their San Diego studio, working on performance and motion capture for games including God of War, Death Stranding, and the Uncharted franchise.
Anything discussed at this stage would be purely speculative, and only time will tell what comes next from both Naughty Dog and Sony San Diego’s studio. As someone who’s recently completed Uncharted 4, I’m rooting for a new game, connected to Nathan Drake’s saga or otherwise.
In the meantime, there’s enough to keep our minds occupied while we wait for more news. As Uncharted’s movie adaptation wrapped up filming this week, the stars of the film have been posting to social media, including a shot of Mark Wahlberg’s Sully stache and a still of Tom Holland’s iconic costume, an obvious throwback to the first Uncharted game, Drake’s Fortune.
The Uncharted film is due in cinemas on July 16, 2021.