When Naughty Dog offered us another snippet of concept art for The Last of Us multiplayer title back in January, we were told to expect more news on the exciting project later this year. This led many to believe that we would see some progress, however small, at the PlayStation Showcase. This has not been the case, and now is the time to explain why.
Naughty Dog has communicated on Twitter that The Last of Us multiplayer has been delayed. An interesting statement when we didn’t have a release date on the horizon, but the reason for that is because Sony was forced to bail when Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier was going to publish an article reporting that the game had been sold. reduced after the last internal evaluation. A smart move when Schreier’s report had many wondering if the game would ever see the light of day. I wouldn’t worry too much about that.
Six sources I’m in frequent contact with at Naughty Dog and/or PlayStation Studios state that the downscaling comes after several upscalings due to the title’s ever-increasing ambitions. One of the problems with those ambitions is that they obviously required more and more resources. That demand grew to such an extent that it started to affect the other games Naughty Dog is currently working on, including the single player game mentioned in the Twitter post. This came to a breaking point a few weeks ago and the decision to move a significant portion of The Last of Us team into more traditional Naughty Dog games in development (no, the one that’s furthest along isn’t The Last of Us: Part III) as those left on the team and part of Bungie assess the future direction of the live service game and what to cut and scale back.
Needless to say, this means we can forget about seeing or hearing anything else about The Last of Us officially this summer. We may get a little update on Outbreak Day in September, but that’s about it.
What do you think of all this? Is it a good thing that Naughty Dog is focusing on more single player games, or would you like to see The Last of Us Multiplayer as a cross between The Division, Fortnite and STALKER?