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The Last of Us Part 3 might not happen, according to Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann

The Last of Us will only return if Naughty Dog knows exactly the right story to tell

a close-up of Ellie in The Last of Us Part 2 Image: Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us is just ramping up, but that hasn’t stopped fans from being excited about where the video game series could go next after 2018’s The Last of Us Part 2. During his press tour for the show, game series creative director and HBO show cocreator Neil Druckmann updated everyone on the status of Part 3, and the fact that it might not happen at all.

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Druckmann said that Naughty Dog hasn’t made a decision yet about what’s next for the mainline The Last of Us series, and it doesn’t feel pressured to either.

“We’re very privileged that our publisher is Sony,” Druckmann said. “They have supported us every step of the way to follow our passions — meaning that just because something is successful, people think there’s all this pressure and we have to make a sequel. That’s not the case. For us, Uncharted was insanely successful — Uncharted 4 was one of our best selling games — and we’re able to put our final brushstroke on that story and say that we’re done. We’re moving on. Likewise, with The Last of Us, it’s up to us whether we want to continue or not.”

That doesn’t mean the series is done for sure though. According to Druckmann, the team is batting story ideas back and forth all the time in hopes that something sticks. But until they have the perfect one, we shouldn’t expect another entry in the franchise.

“Our process is the same thing we did when we did Part 2,” Druckmann said to Buzzfeed. “Which is if we can come up with a compelling story that has this universal message and statement about love — just like the first and second game did — then we will tell that story. If we can’t come up with something, we have a very strong ending with Part 2 and that will be the end.”

Whatever happens next with The Last of Us games, Druckmann has at least made it clear that it will be a while before the next numbered entry, if it happens at all. Until then, Naughty Dog is currently working on a Last of Us multiplayer spinoff and hasn’t officially said what it’s next big single-player project will be.

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