Naughty Dog officially confirmed last year that it was working on a standalone multiplayer The Last of Us game, and with the developer touting it as its most ambitious project ever, excitement was naturally high about how it would turn out. Earlier this year, Naughty Dog said it would have more details to share later in 2023, but when it failed to show up at the recent PlayStation Showcase, eyebrows were raised.
Now, a new report published by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier has stated that the project’s development has run into issues behind the scenes. As per the report, Naughty Dog is now reassessing the game’s “quality and long-term viability”, and following a recent evaluation, has scaled back its development team. Though the game remains in development, many members of its team have allegedly been moved to other projects in the works.
Interestingly, it seems the recently-acquired Bungie had a role to play in the scaling back of the multiplayer The Last of Us project. PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst recently revealed that the studio was helping Sony evaluate its upcoming live service games, and according to Schreier’s report, as part of that process, Bungie “raised questions” about the game’s “ability to keep players engaged for a long period of time”.
Naughty Dog recently put out a statement on Twitter to address The Last of Us’ absence at the recent PlayStation Showcase, saying, “We’re incredibly proud of the job our studio has done thus far, but as development as continued, we’ve realized what is best for the game is to give it more time.” The studio says it’s also working on “a brand new single player experience”, and that it’s looking forward to sharing more about its upcoming titles “soon”.