Naughty Dog may have started work on a new untitled project, and naturally, some attention turns to a multiplayer mode for The Last of Us Part II. As first reported by Twisted Voxel, Richard Cambier and Vinit Agarwal were recently promoted to Game Director and Co-Game Director in September 2020 respectively.
Furthermore, from August 2020, several key players within Naughty Dog’s development team were promoted to new positions. Most notably is audio director Robert Krekel, who mentions a "current project" on his LinkedIn page, with the only description being "TBA". Naughty Dog appointed new positions to senior developers including Makeym Zhuravlov, Michal Mach, Max Dyckhoff, and Waylon Brinck.
Naughty Dog are currently advertising over 40 positions via their careers page, as seen in a screenshot below. There are vacancies open for gameplay animators, character concept artists, and game designers, a clear sign that the studio are preparing for big things in 2021.
It’s unclear what Naughty Dog’s next project will be, but I, like many others, will be hoping for a multiplayer component for The Last Of Us Part II, after it was scrapped in September 2019. Even now, seven years since the original, the Factions mode is still as popular (at least for me) as ever.
Naughty Dog however has previously confirmed that “The Last Of Us Part II would not include an online mode. Due to this, the team could, decide to move away from The Last Of Us Part II completely, and produce a low-cost IP to tide the gap between Part II and their next big project, similar to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in 2017.
While we’ll need to wait some time for Naughty Dog to answer these questions, a recent tweet from The Last Of Us Part II actor, Derek Philips (Abby’s father Jerry), confirmed he was returning to provide mo-cap on a new project.
Back to work!!! pic.twitter.com/gN4S7zr4mK
— Derek Phillips (@derekphillips) October 19, 2020