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Report: The Last of Us multiplayer game is being "reassessed" by Naughty Dog

Naughty Dog is determining if the multiplayer spinoff for its flagship franchise is still worth investing in.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

May 26, 2023

2 Min Read
Key art of Ellie in Naughty Dog's The Last of Us Part II.

Naughty Dog's upcoming spinoff for The Last of Us is going back to the zombie board. 

According to Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, the developer is taking another look at its standalone multiplayer game for the zombie series. Development has reportedly "slowed down" as various developers have been transferred to other projects while Naughty Dog looks at the project's long-term viability, direction, and overall quality.

Bloomberg underlined that the game was not canceled, though added that most of its developers have been transferred to other projects.

Presently just known as The Last of Us: Factions, it'll be the first solely multiplayer offering the studio has made. In the past, Naughty Dog has had multiplayer games in its Uncharted and Crash Bandicoot franchises alongside its traditional single-player modes.

More broadly, it'll also be one of several live service offerings from PlayStation. Future endeavors include Bungie's reboot of Marathon and a co-op spinoff of Guerrilla's Horizon series.

The original The Last of Us had a multiplayer factions mode, but it was absent with 2020's The Last of Us Part II. Instead, it was spun off into its own thing, which Naughty Dog officially announced in 2022.

While Naughty Dog's earlier titles had multiplayer modes, live service is an entirely different beast altogether. And just because a developer can make a great single-player experience, that doesn't mean it's also entirely capable of hitting those same highs with multiplayer

Ahead of Bloomberg's reporting, Naughty Dog released a statement stating it had delayed the multiplayer game. "We've realized what is best for the game is to give it more time." 

"Our team will continue to work on the project," the developer assured, "as well as our other games in development, including a brand-new single-player experience." 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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