The Last of Us began as a Jak & Daxter reboot

What if, in an alternate universe, The Last of Us never existed, and instead we got a Jak & Daxter reboot? Well, apparently that alternate universe was almost our own.

While giving the keynote speech at an International Game Developers Association conference in Toronto, Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann revealed that The Last of Us was initially supposed to be a reboot of the venerable platforming franchise. The task the team was first given was to reboot Jak & Daxter, and they spent much time "exploring the . . . fantastical world."

After some time, the creative team discovered that their best ideas were the ones that strayed from the Jak & Daxter reboot concept. This got the team wondering if perhaps the only reason they were rebooting the franchise was to fulfill marketing obligations, which they felt would have resulted in a lackluster experience for longtime fans. After the team came to this conclusion, they were given the go-ahead to come up with something new. This became what we now know as The Last of Us.

Check out Druckmann’s keynote speech below, and be amazed by the epic journey that The Last of Us went through before seeing production.