Naughty Dog developers have a large sway in what projects the studio takes on, and new IPs like The Last of Us was a project born out of passion.
In a recent interview with The Game Maker's Notebook, Naughty Dog President Evan Wells asserts that the studio picks its new games based on popular opinion. Wells says he doesn't want developers working on something that doesn't inspire them creatively.
"[What we choose to work on] is really driven by the team, just like almost every decision we make at the studio is somehow trying to represent what the team wants the most. We definitely don't want to have people working on something that they don't have the creative motivation to work on," Wells said.
"Just like whatever success we had with Uncharted, if we were on Uncharted 6 or 7 by now, I think the creative spark would be pretty weak and I just don't think we'd be doing our best work.
"We always try to take the temperature of the team and see where their motivations lie, to see what's exciting to them, and try to steer it towards that.
"I don't that it'd do us any good and it certainly wouldn't do our fans any good if we were weren't making something we weren't loving."
Naughty Dog is reportedly working on a remake for The Last of Us, and if the project is indeed in development then core ports of the team want to make it. Reports suggest TLOU remake is a result of key Naughty Dog employees needing to "feed the beast," a term used to describe the voracious appetite of creatives who need consistent projects to work on.
Publicly, Naughty Dog says its new project is up in the air.
"As you start wrapping things up, creatively there are fewer and fewer responsibilities and my mind can't help but think about the next thing. So, yeah, the next thing could be a Part III, the next thing could be some new IP," Neil Druckmann said in June 2020.