On an episode of the Script Apart podcast, Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann said that he and co-writer Halley Gross have written “an outline for a story” for The Last of Us Part III. He emphasized that the game is not currently in production, but he hopes that it can release one day.
Druckmann further said that there has been a lot of discussion surrounding a third game in the series internally at Naughty Dog but that making a large AAA game comes with such challenges. The first The Last of Us and its sequel were seven years apart, and the reality is that big blockbuster games take so much time and resources to create. Additionally, Druckmann wants to make sure that the studio is still excited and feels challenged enough to create a game whenever the time comes.
“We’ve now had two games that I feel speak to something universal as well as telling a very personal story for these characters,” says Druckmann. “With one game, there’s no pattern of what a franchise is. With two games, now there’s starting to be a pattern – now I feel like there are some structural and thematic themes you’d have to stick to if you’re making a third game.”
The studio is exploring what its next release will be, whether it is in fact The Last of Us Part III, a new IP, or a new entry in an old franchise. Factors such as time commitment, money, time, passion, and talent all play a part in the decision-making process, according to Druckmann.
Currently, we don’t know what Naughty Dog’s plans are. Most likely, the multiplayer portion of The Last of Us Part II will be the next release, but a recent report from Bloomberg indicates that a remake of the original The Last of Us is in development for PlayStation 5 as well.