Update: There may be more to the below story than Naughty Dog let on. Bloomberg reports that Naughty Dog has significantly “slowed down” development of the multiplayer The Last of Us game, with only a “small group” remaining on the development team to determine its future direction. The game is not canceled, but reportedly most developers have shifted to other projects.
The original story follows:
Naughty Dog was a notable no-show at PlayStation Showcase 2023, along with several first-party studios. Being absent from a single event is not cause for concern, and most reasonable people just assumed Naughty Dog was not ready to show anything. Yet in a somewhat strange move, Naughty Dog has chosen to release an update statement to clarify how things are going with the studio anyway, including on its multiplayer The Last of Us game and a new single-player game. The statement almost reads like a delay announcement for the multiplayer Last of Us game, which is kind of ridiculous and unnecessary since Naughty Dog has never given a formal release date in the first place.
About that game, Naughty Dog said, “We’re incredibly proud of the job our studio has done thus far, but as development has continued, we’ve realized what is best for the game is to give it more time.” Okay? Cool? No normal person should be upset about a game requiring time to create. This isn’t something the developer should have to make a social media post about, and it’s a far cry from what’s going on with the abysmal launch of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum.
The tease of a new single-player game and other games at Naughty Dog is nice though. The developer stated, “Our team will continue to work on the (multiplayer) project, as well as our other games in development, including a brand new single-player experience; we look forward to sharing more soon.”
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) May 26, 2023
The whole message feels like a big, unnecessary “Stay tuned, folks!” Nonetheless, that multiplayer Last of Us game should be pretty epic in scale when it launches, with series co-creator Neil Druckmann describing it as just as large or larger than any other game the developer has ever done. To date, all we’ve gotten is some concept art though.