Jak and Daxter was originally developed by Naughty Dog and then published by Sony for the PS2. The series never moved onto the next generation of consoles in anyway besides ports. Outside of the PS2 the series only had original titles released on the PSP. The series is long overdue for a second chance, but just how viable is a new title in the current era of PlayStation?
Where Did All the Time Go?
It’s not difficult to understand why it’s been a decade since we were given a new title in the franchise. The best selling game in the series was the original game, and it never broke two million units sold. With six titles in the franchise, it only hit seven and a half million all together. That’s rather pathetic for an exclusive series on one of the best selling consoles of all time. Even the HD collections on PS3 and PS4 didn’t sell spectacularly. Even Jak’s appearance in the obviously spectacular PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale failed to bring him the popularity needed.
Naughty Dog has also hit quite a bit of success since they left their older titles behind. After Jak they hit the ground running with Uncharted one of the biggest PlayStation exclusives in its history. Shortly after that they released The Last of Us which has since been regraded as one of the greatest games ever made. And the one title alone has sold seventeen million copies. Something that Jak will never manage to come near let alone beat. Why would they go back to Jak after all that?
Jak Fits Into Our Libraries
Yes, despite poor sales numbers, Jak does fit into our libraries still. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean Sony or Naughty Dog have any reason to bring the series back. It’s no longer a low risk series for them to put into development, and even if they did it wouldn’t be Naughty Dog behind the game. It would cost too much for them to develop it, and take away their resources from the development of some of PlayStation’s biggest series.
Jak has a very loyal and passionate fan base that just so happens to be small in size. While Sony is certainly at a place where taking risks to develop games that break the mold of most of their titles, they have also been opposed to taking risks for awhile. Rather than developing a bunch of new IPs they work on a few, then develop off of preexisting and successful series. Even going as far as re imaging them to draw in a larger audience. Of course this could be changing since Sony did help with the development of the very ambiguous Death Stranding.
How They Should Handle It
Give us a reboot. Time travel is a heavy influence on the story of the franchise, so it wouldn’t be difficult to come up with a way to gain a clean plate. They can add more platforming elements back into the series like the original game had, while simultaneously having the cool weaponry and vehicles. Combining everything from the many games that were great together is the blend of content the game would need.
Other improvements could be shorter introductions and tutorials. The second and third game both hold your hand for far too long. A new development team tackling this would also bring a fresh perspective to the series while lowering the risk for Sony. It would create a win-win situation for everyone involved. A new team is given the spotlight, Naughty Dog’s legacy lives on while allowing them to focus on other projects, Sony has little at risk, and the fans of the franchise finally get a new title after a decade.
Do you want to see another Jak and Daxter game?
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I’ve been involved with the world of video games since I was able to sit in my dad’s lap and watch him. Not long after that I started playing myself, and it’s been a naturally growing passion ever since.