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The Last of Us multiplayer isn’t coming any time soon

Still in development, technically not delayed, but...

Concept art of survivors on a balcony in multiplayer The Last of Us game, Factions Image: Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Fans of The Last of Us walked away from Wednesday’s PlayStation Showcase empty-handed after expecting to hear something about a multiplayer version of the franchise, which has been discussed since 2018 and was expected to be shown sometime this year. On Friday, Naughty Dog more or less said the idea, while still in development, needs more time and has no release window in mind.

In a statement posted to Twitter, the studio didn’t say that The Last of Us’ multiplayer game was indefinitely delayed, but nor did it say when or if this idea might actually come to PlayStation. “As development has continued, we’ve realized what is best for the game is to give it more time,” the studio said.

According to a report from Bloomberg, which hit alongside Naughty Dog’s statement (and appears to have prompted its publication), the team working on The Last of Us multiplayer spinoff has been “scaled back after a recent evaluation,” and that “many of its developers have been moved to other projects.”

Naughty Dog said development of this multiplayer breakout from The Last of Us Part 2, which launched in 2020, will continue. It’s also working on “other games in development, including a new single-player experience.” That’s intriguing, as back in January, studio co-president Neil Druckmann said they were done with the Uncharted franchise (despite intimations of a sequel there) and were moving on to new things.

Fans thought they would get some word about The Last of Us’ stand-alone, multiplayer adaptation at Wednesday’s PlayStation Showcase mostly because it’s been talked about for so long and, of course, the series just got a huge star turn with a TV adaptation on HBO, which premiered in January and wrapped in March.

The original The Last of Us featured an online multiplayer component called Factions, which featured a variety of modes for up to eight players on reworked portions of the game’s campaign maps.

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