Naughty Dog, the renowned developer behind franchises such as Uncharted and The Last of Us, has released a statement on its multiplayer title in The Last of Us universe. In the statement, the developer says it needs more time than originally forecasted for the multiplayer project, but softens the blow by teasing an unannounced single-player-focused game.
“We know many of you have been looking forward to hearing more about our The Last of Us multiplayer game,” the statement read. “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. Our team will continue to work on the project, as well as our other games in development, including a brand new single-player experience; we look forward to sharing more soon. We’re grateful to our fantastic community for your support – thank you for your passion for our games, it continues to drive us.”
This statement comes on the heels of a report from Bloomberg, which communicated troubles in the development of the title. According to the report, the development team has been scaled back while the studio’s leadership decides on a direction.
This multiplayer project was originally in development as a mode for The Last of Us Part II, similar to the multiplayer mode of the original The Last of Us. However, as the scope of both the single-player campaign and the multiplayer mode expanded, Naughty Dog made the call to prioritize the single-player campaign, which came out in 2020. In June 2022, Naughty Dog announced that the multiplayer component was now a standalone project and shared a piece of concept art (above). Earlier this year, Naughty Dog released another new piece of concept art (below) and promised more details on the standalone multiplayer project later this year.
Naughty Dog’s most recent all-new game, 2020’s The Last of Us Part II, received universal critical acclaim with a 93 on Metacritic but has proven divisive among players. In the time since that launch, Naughty Dog has released the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, which included 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. Perhaps the biggest impact The Last of Us has had in 2023 came in the form of the first season of the HBO series starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, which garnered widespread praise.
There’s no word on when we’ll hear more from Naughty Dog on either this multiplayer game or the single-player project it mentioned in this statement, but with this week’s PlayStation Showcase neglecting to mention any of the studio’s projects, it could be a while before we know substantial details.