Today during the latest Summer Game Fest event, Naughty Dog announced a multiplayer-focused take on The Last of Us and promised more info will be revealed next year.
According to Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann, who spoke on stage during the event, the team isn’t quite ready yet to completely reveal the game but wanted to show some early concept art on the online project, calling it as large as any of their previous singleplayer games.
A later tweet called it the studio’s “biggest online experience” yet.
Last year, data miners found files buried in The Last of Us Part II that pointed toward an online mode that might have been inspired by popular battle royale games like Fortnite and PUBG. Back in 2020, footage of what appears to be Last of Us Part II multiplayer also leaked.
We’ve known for some time that Naughty Dog has been working on a The Last of Us-inspired multiplayer project. The developer had originally planned to include a multiplayer mode in The Last of Us Part II, released in June 2020. However, these plans changed in the summer of 2019, when the studio announced it was shelving the online portion of its The Last of Us sequel in order to focus all of its resources on the single-player campaign.
Then in 2021, more evidence of Naughty Dog having a new standalone multiplayer action game in development emerged when the company began hiring more devs for a project it described as a “new standalone multiplayer action game” that would feature a “cinematic experience” between online players.
So, not too surprising that the studio has now officially confirmed that, yes, it is in fact working on a The Last of Us online game.
The series first, 2013 game included what became a beloved multiplayer mode, Factions, and according to Naughty Dog, the 2020 sequel’s shelved multiplayer was going to be inspired by that fan-favorite experience. But that grew into something bigger, and eventually, the team decided to cut it free from The Last of Us Part II. At the time, the studio promised that players would get to play the expanded mode in some form in the future, and with today’s announcement, it appears to be following through.