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The Last of Us multiplayer game still on track for 2023 reveal

Series’ 10-year anniversary looms as Neil Druckmann hints at ‘the future of this franchise’

Artwork of an overgrown, ruined port town with a grounded giant cruise ship in the background from The Last of Us multiplayer project Image: Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

PlayStation developer Naughty Dog gave The Last of Us fans another tease of the studio’s upcoming multiplayer game on Wednesday, and pledged to reveal “new details” about the stand-alone project later this year.

Following up on a concept art reveal from last June, Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann revealed another piece of art from the multiplayer game based on the post-apocalyptic franchise. That artwork shows a pair of survivors approaching a massive, grounded cruise ship — no doubt a resource of scavenged materials and source of potential dangers — in a ruined coastal city.

Later this year, Druckmann promises “some fun surprises” for The Last of Us fans, “the future of this franchise,” and “some details on our ambitious The Last of Us multiplayer game.” He added, “the project is shaping up to be a fresh, new experience from our studio, but one rooted in Naughty Dog’s passion for delivering incredible stories, characters, and gameplay.”

The Last of Us multiplayer spinoff is being led by Vinit Agarwal, game designer on The Last of Us Part 2; Joe Pettinati, creative director at Naughty Dog; and Anthony Newman, lead designer at Naughty Dog.

Druckmann revealed first details about the TLOU multiplayer game last summer, saying that the untitled project will be as big as the developer’s single-player games, “and in some ways bigger.”

“It’s got a story. The way we’re telling the story is very unique to this game,” Druckmann said. “It has a brand-new cast of characters. It takes place in another part of the United States.”

Druckmann dropped the latest details as part of The Last of Us’ impending 10-year anniversary. The original PlayStation 3 game was released on June 14, 2013, and, yes, you’re very old now.

Over the course of the past decade, the franchise has grown from a one-off action game to a full-on multimedia franchise. The biggest example of that growth is Naughty Dog and HBO’s live-action adaptation of The Last of Us. That series, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, debuts on Jan. 15. A PC version of The Last of Us Part 1, the studio’s second re-release of the first game, is due in March.