Prior to working on The Last of Us, Naughty Dog had considered a Jak and Daxter reboot. During a recent IGDA talk revolving mostly around The Last of Us, creative director Neil Druckmann revealed some preliminary images of the canned project and told the story of why Naughty Dog ended up dropping the game.
Work on this reboot began in 2009, when Naughty Dog's presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra formed a second team focused on creating something different from the work that was ramping up on Uncharted 3. Druckmann said the team "spent a lot of time exploring the world of Jak and Daxter," but that all of their ideas and concepts didn't feel right for the universe.
Ultimately it felt like the team was "doing this for marketing reasons." He went on to say the concept wasn't "doing service to what the fans of this franchise really liked – even if the reinvented Daxter is pretty damn good looking." So they asked if they really had to create this reboot.
"No, I just thought it'd be easier for you guys if you started with something, but if you want to do something else, come up with something else." Shortly after, The Last of Us started to form, based on another game concept Druckmann had come up with years prior to joining Naughty Dog.
Druckmann is the better storyteller, so we'll let you hit the play button on the video above for the rest.