In a recent Ask Us Anything session on Reddit, Naughty Dog veteran Bruce Straley details why the esteemed studio passed on the production of Jak 4, but is still leaving the door open for its looming development.
Straley ultimately blames the skeleton of the narrative they wanted to tell, asserting that "the types of stories we were interested in telling just weren't fitting into the Jak universe. It was hard to deal with all the baggage of all of those characters and the lore and try to apply everything that we were learning about how to mesh stories and gameplay and we just couldn't make it all fit."
The world of Jak and Daxter, while not overtly shallow, was lacking the emotional versatility the talented team was needing. "Whenever we tried to make a Jak and Daxter story, constrained to what had already been created, those stories were falling flat for us - and the world didn't give us a lot of flexibility," he added. "Which meant that when we finally got to a story we actually liked, we weren't actually making a J-n-D game anymore.''
With respect to an upcoming sequel, Straley said "that the door is never fully shut, there's always a possibility."
After playing the The Last of Us, it's hard to imagine how Naughty Dog could have achieved the same level of emotional expression in Jak and Daxter. Granted, it's an entirely different universe calling for a different set of creative input, and its not to say that its not possible to execute. Besides, if anyone can do it, Naughty Dog can.
Are you more entertained by the idea of Naughty Dog pursuing Jak 4, or would you rather see the famed studio hand the reins over to a new devoted team?