The pieces were posted with a caption originally reading, “Inspire from the new game. You know what I’m talking about…” After being circulated this week, some fans and media outlets speculated that the “new game” could be an unannounced Naughty Dog project. However, speaking to IGN, Nam explained, “The illustration is not for ND’s next new game,” and added that this was fan art inspired by and made while the artist played Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (itself released last November).
Nam has now updated the caption to make clear the connection to Valhalla. While some will likely be sad – after all, a dragon-slaying, medieval-shamanic Naughty Dog fantasy game actually sounds pretty amazing – let’s focus on the fact that Nam’s fan art was so cool, it briefly made people imagine an entirely new game. That feels like an artistic achievement in and of itself. It’s worth checking out Nam’s wider portfolio on Artstation, too – particularly if you’re interested in early, painterly takes on The Last of Us Part 2’s many characters.
As for what Naughty Dog actually has for us next, that’s hard to tell. We know that there’s no DLC planned for The Last of Us Part 2, but that there could still be a standalone multiplayer mode in the vein of the first game’s Factions. Whatever it is, Naughty Dog has stepped up hiring, with studio co-president Neil Druckmann saying, “Come work with us! We’re making something very cool!”
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