Skip to main content

Naughty Dog says The Last of Us multiplayer game needs "more time"

UPDATE: Team reportedly "scaled back" after Bungie raised concerns around project.

UPDATE 27/5/23: In a report released in the aftermath of Naughty Dog's statement, Bloomberg's Jason Schreier has shed additional light on the behind-the-scenes decision-making currently impacting The Last of Us multiplayer game.

According to Schreier, development on the long-in-the-works title has "slowed down" after Destiny developer Bungie - which has been individually assessing Sony's many "games as a service" projects since its was acquired last year - raised concerns about The Last of Us multiplayer's "ability to keep players engaged for a long period of time".

As a result of this feedback, the Naughty Dog team working on the Last of Us multiplayer project is said to have been "scaled back", leaving only a "small group" on the project while Sony re-evaluates its direction. Bloomberg's sources say the game isn't cancelled, but that many of its developers have now been moved to other projects.

ORIGINAL STORY 26/5/23: Naughty Dog has shared an update on its The Last of Us multiplayer title, saying it has "realised what is best for the game is to give it more time". It's also teased a new "brand-new single-player experience" currently in the works.

Naughty Dog's The Last of Us multiplayer project was initially planned to be part of The Last of Us Part 2, but the studio announced it was separating the two halves in 2019. Since then, updates on the multiplayer game have been sparse, with Naughty Dog popping up to confirm "we're working on it" in 2021 and then, last year, promising more would be revealed in 2023.

Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann reiterated the studio's intention to share more about the game "later this year" back in January, but a new statement from the developer suggests its plans for a more substantial reveal in 2023 may currently be on hold.

Eurogamer's The Last of Us Part 2 review.Watch on YouTube

"We know many of you have been looking forward to hearing more about our The Last of Us multiplayer game," Naughty Dog wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. "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."

To date, Naughty Dog has said little about what it's working on away from its Last of Us multiplayer game, but fans have speculated some mysterious, fantasy inspired artwork found on a wall in the studio's The Last of Us Part 1 might offer clues to its next project. Only time will tell if this is the "single-player experience" the studio has now confirmed.

Today's statement from Naughty Dog follows the studio's conspicuous absence from Sony's recent PlayStation Showcase. As Eurogamer's Tom Phillips argued after it aired, a lack of big hitters outside of Insomniac's Spider-Man sequel made for a rather underwhelming show.

Read this next