Update: The Naughty Dog artist who shared artwork inspired by a fantasy setting says his work wasn't a hint at a new game from the studio.
Speaking to IGN, senior concept artist Hyoung Nam says that the artwork he posted earlier this week - depicting three women in a medieval/fantasy setting alongside the caption "inspire from the new game" - was based on their time playing Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and "is not for ND's next new game."
The caption has now been updated to reflect the artwork's inspiration.
Original story: A Naughty Dog concept artist has shared new art apparently inspired by a "new game."
Late last year, Naughty Dog senior concept artist Hyoung Nam shared a trio of pieces to his Artstation account, one of which you can see just below. "Inspire from the new game," Nam added in the description of the three images. "You know what I'm talking about..."
This would appear to heavily imply that Naughty Dog is working on a brand new IP for their next game. Of course, the studio hasn't formally announced a new project since The Last of Us 2 released last year in 2020, but you've got to imagine that the studio has at least decided on their next project after the sequel. After all, studio co-president Neil Druckmann was recently flagging Naughty Dog job listings.
Nam's three concept art pieces would appear to indicate that Naughty Dog is working on a fantasy game of some sorts. This would be a massive departure from the likes of Uncharted and The Last of Us, and if it is indeed what the developer is working on, it's exciting to see it tackle a brand new setting.
As of October 2020, there was fresh speculation that Naughty Dog was working on new content related to The Last of Us 2. Derek Phillips, an actor in a pretty key role in the sequel, revealed that he was back doing motion capture on an unannounced project, hence the speculation that the studio was working on something related to the sequel.
If you want to have a look at some of Nam's other creations on his Artstation profile, they're well worth checking out. There's some stunning concept art of characters from The Last of Us 2, including Abby, Ellie, and even the dreaded Rat King (which we spoke to Naughty Dog about last year in our making of the Rat King feature).
If you're still playing through Naughty Dog's latest adventure, you can head over to our Last of Us 2 map guide for a complete list of locations in downtown Seattle.