Naughty Dog Abandons Plans for The Last of Us Multiplayer Game

In an unexpected turn of events, Naughty Dog revealed on Thursday that it has decided to cancel the development of the multiplayer game set in The Last of Us universe. The announcement, conveyed through a blog post, disclosed that the studio had been in the initial stages of creating The Last of Us Online concurrently with their work on The Last of Us Part II. Despite expressing enthusiasm about the project’s direction, the studio faced a critical decision.

According to Naughty Dog, pursuing the completion and ongoing support of The Last of Us Online would have required channeling all of their resources towards post-launch content for an extended period, consequently hampering the development of future single-player games. The studio articulated two potential paths forward: transforming into a dedicated live service games studio or maintaining their focus on the narrative-driven single-player games that have become synonymous with Naughty Dog’s legacy.

Unmistakably, Naughty Dog opted for the latter path, emphasizing that they are actively engaged in the development of “more than one” significant new single-player title. The troubles surrounding The Last of Us Online had surfaced earlier, with a delay announcement in May following reports from Bloomberg indicating Sony’s reconsideration of the game’s direction. Kotaku’s October report further hinted at challenges, stating that The Last of Us Online was essentially put “on ice” amid Naughty Dog’s contractor layoffs.

This cancellation contributes to Sony’s broader shift away from its ambitious live service initiatives. Previously planning to release 12 live service games by March 2026, the company has now revised its strategy to focus on a more measured release of six such titles.

Fans can still anticipate the release of Sony and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II Remastered on January 19th, 2024, while the second season of the HBO show adaptation is slated to premiere in 2025.

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