The acclaimed game developer Naughty Dog has released a statement addressing the development of its upcoming multiplayer title within The Last of Us universe. Although the original forecast for the title’s release has changed, the announcement also teases the arrival of a new single-player-focused game from the studio.
In the statement, Naughty Dog states that more time is needed for the multiplayer project, but promised it would continue to be worked on alongside other games presently in development, including the unannounced single-player experience. The developer went on to give thanks to the studio’s supportive community.
The announcement follows a recent report by Bloomberg which communicated issues with The Last of Us multiplayer game’s development. The report reveals that the team behind the project has been downsized while studio leadership determines the game’s direction.
The multiplayer project originally began development as a mode for the highly acclaimed game The Last of Us Part II, similar to the original game’s multiplayer mode. However, as the scope of both the single-player campaign and the multiplayer mode grew, Naughty Dog opted to prioritize the single-player campaign, which saw its release in 2020. In June 2022, Naughty Dog unveiled the multiplayer component as a standalone project and shared a concept art piece (above). Earlier this year, Naughty Dog released another new piece of concept art (below), hinting that more details would follow later this year.
The Last of Us Part II, the latest release by Naughty Dog back in 2020, received critical acclaim with a score of 93 on Metacritic, but fans were divided on the game. Since the game’s release, the studio has also produced the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, which includes remastered versions of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and The Last of Us Part I, a remake of The Last of Us and The Last of Us: Left Behind. One of Naughty Dog’s biggest achievements in 2023 has been the success of the first season of the HBO series The Last of Us starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey.
While there is no confirmation of when we will hear more about the projects at Naughty Dog, this week’s PlayStation Showcase didn’t cover the studio’s games, so it could be a while before any significant updates are released.