Based on the former Senior Gameplay Animator profile, Bend Studio and Naughty Dog apparently collaborated on an unannounced project for a duration of two years.
Recently, information about an unreleased project that Bend Studio and Naughty Dog were working on jointly was found through information written up on the LinkedIn page of a Senior Gameplay Animator.
Adam Lawson, who subsequently joined Archetype Entertainment, previously worked on an undisclosed Bend Studio and Naughty Dog project, according to his job history. His LinkedIn profile said:
Senior Gameplay Animator
Jan 2020 – Apr 2022 2 yrs 4 mos
– Worked with Naughty Dog to prototype and create content on an unannounced project.
– Created animation tools in Python to assist standing up Maya animation pipeline at Bend Studio.
– Created previsualizations to inspire the team and to plan game moments and systems.
Titles worked on:
– Unannounced Naughty Dog project
– Unannounced Bend Studio project
This revelation has sparked speculation among gamers about the nature of this project. The prevailing theories suggest it might be either The Last of Us Online (often referred to as ‘Faction 2’) or a new Uncharted game. However, it’s worth noting that in 2020, Jason mentioned in his article that they requested to stop working on Uncharted.
Also, many people had hoped Bend Studio would be developing a Days Gone 2 or a new Syphon Filter game, but those seem implausible at this point. We know Syphon Filter has not been seen in over 15 years and Days Gone 2 was shut down informally some time ago. Additionally, it was emphasized last year that Bend Studio was working on a brand-new IP, but all that is known about it is that it “builds upon the open-world systems of Days Gone.”
But we don’t have enough information to speculate what this joint unannounced Bend Studio and Naughty Dog project could have been.
What we know for now is in response to Jason’s allegations, the directors of Bend Studios explained that Bend collaborated with Naughty Dog on an Uncharted spinoff and helped them on The Last of Us Online in the interim, between the release of Days Gone and the start of their new IP project. Whenever resources are available between projects, studios have traditionally worked together on this project. Bend needed a year or so after Days Gone to get ready for the preproduction stage of their new IP. During that time, some employees worked on the PC port and Days Gone updates, while others assisted Naughty Dog.
The directors also refuted Jason’s claim that Sony turned down the Days Gone 2 pitch, saying Bend made the choice internally. They also denied reports of a tense relationship between Bend and Naughty Dog, highlighting the studios’ long history of cooperation, friendship, and respect for one another. They also refuted Jason’s claim that Bend was worried about being acquired by Naughty Dog or had bad feelings toward the administration of PlayStation Studios, stating that Sony was very much in favor of Bend and Days Gone even after the game’s release.
While Bend Studio has been deep in development on a new IP, the specifics have been kept under wraps. So, there are no new ways to know what the unannounced Bend Studio and Naughty Dog project was about.
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