The multiplayer spin-off game designed to expand the world of The Last of Us has been delayed, as developer Naughty Dog believes ‘what is best for the game is to give it more time.’ This was announced via Twitter, seemingly in response to recent investigations and reports of troubled development for the game.
‘We know many of you have been looking forward to hearing more about our The Last of Us multiplayer game,’ Naughty Dog said. ‘We’re incredibly proud of the job our studio has done thus far, but as development has continued, we’ve realised 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.’
In late May 2023, Bloomberg published a report that indicated work on The Last of Us multiplayer spin-off had been scaled back ‘as the creators reassess its quality and long-term viability’. Sources speaking to the website alleged work on the game had been re-evaluated following an assessment by members of studio Bungie (Destiny 2), who have ample experience with multiplayer games.
These developers allegedly flagged potential issues with keeping players engaged in the long-term, with gameplay needing to evolve to meet this demand. Sources speaking to Bloomberg believe this assessment led to an internal rescope, with developers on the project being reassigned to other areas of the studio, as a result.
While Bloomberg made clear the game had not been cancelled, sources believed the project had been ‘slowed down’ as Naughty Dog reassessed its potential.
Going forward, the company has several other major projects to focus on – including a ‘brand-new single-player experience’ yet to be formally detailed by the tenured developer. We’ll likely hear more about this project, and the status of the Last of Us multiplayer spin-off, in the coming months.