Before to fully work on The Last of Us, Naughty Dog was planning to create a new, even more grittier Jak and Daxter game for the Playstation 3, but after the concept art team drawn some Jak and Daxter artworks to use in this “reboot” of the series, they thought that they would have more freedom to just create a new IP for the mature audience, and thus the project evolved to became The Last of Us. After Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Jak 2 and Jak 3, this project could have been the 4° title in the main Jak series (or even the 5th one if you consider Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier). In the end, Naughty Dog never released any new Jak & Daxter game for the PS3, only an HD collection with their first 3 PS2 games.
Our task was to reboot Jak & Daxter. We spent a lot of time exploring the world of Jak and Daxter and how we would reboot it; how we would bring these characters back, some story ideas that we were getting excited about.
As much as we like these concepts and exploring these fantastical worlds, we found the ideas that we were getting passionate about were getting away from Jak & Daxter. We were questioning ourselves, were we doing this for marketing reasons and naming something Jak & Daxter when it really isn’t Jak & Daxter, or were we really passionate about it?
As we can read at GameInformer:
Shelving the Jak and Daxter ideas meant the team could begin work on a fresh idea. Shedding the restrictions of an existing IP allowed directors Druckmann and Straley to let their creative juices flow and explore whatever they wished.
Some concept arts from this cancelled “Jak & Daxter 4″ project were shown by Neil Druckmann at the IGDA Toronto, in the “A Tribute to Naughty Dog: 30th Anniversary” exhibition in september / october 2014 and in the “Naughty Dog’s 30th Anniversary” art book (you can buy it on Amazon UK for 20.39£, Amazon USA for 25$ or Amazon IT for 32 euro), as posted by Junkie Monkeys!
Thanks to Loïc Caria for the contribution!