When it comes to Jak & Daxter Naughty Dog unintentionally toys with our emotions. A story posted yesterday on VG247 revealed that they were on the verge of revisiting the series, but they ultimately scrapped it. Sigh, things are starting to sound hopeless. Here’s why it is time for Naughty Dog to hand the series over to another studio.
Reading into what Even Wells said:
Even if we felt like we’re going to give the fans another Jak & Daxter, we felt we weren’t going to give them the game that they wanted. We would end up limiting the direction that the company had this passion for while simultaneously not creating the game that fans wanted. We just realised we were going to just do everybody a disservice. So at that point, the conversations started to move in a new direction.
The above quote shows that they’re torn, they want to make a new Jak game—but they want to apply what they learned from Uncharted to it. This would obviously be a bad idea, and that’s why they backed down. So why not make a normal Jak & Daxter game? My guess is that Naughty Dog thinks that would be taking a step backwards. After the success of Uncharted, making another cartoony game doesn’t seem right, right?
Sadly this is the direction the industry is headed in. How many platformers came out for the PS3 and Xbox 360? Can you name 20? Probably not, but I’m sure you can name at least five-dozen first and third person shooters. When a platformer does come out gamers ignore it (unless it’s Mario), look at Rayman Origins and Alice: Madness Returns. In my opinion those are two of the most underrated games of 2011. A lot of gamers think like this now, “jumping around lush worlds is so archaic–give me a gun so I can murder this poor son of a bitch that’s blocking my path”. The industry is maturing, and so is Naughty Dog.
That’s not the only reason Jak & Daxter’s triumphant return courtesy of Naughty Dog is starting to look like a pipe dream. Even if they did want to make a normal one, when will they find the time? They’re in Uncharted and The Last of Us mode.
This is why they should hand the series over to another studio. They don’t have the time to make a third game, and they don’t know how to without letting fans or themselves down. I know—the thought of someone else making a Jak game besides ND sounds crazy, but this is the inevitable direction we’re headed in. Remember this–ND can still revisit the series at some point, this won’t turn into another Crash, they no longer own that IP.
Hopefully the Jak & Daxter HD Collection does well; this should increase our odds of seeing a next generation entry (PS4). There’s no reason for Naughty Dog to keep playing with fans, Ready at Dawn made a PSP game using Daxter, High Impact Games made Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier, and more recently Sony Bend made Uncharted Golden Abyss. Outside studios are more than capable of taking ND’s ideas and making something good. It’s time to let another studio make a console game in the Jak universe.