Naughty Dog cancels development on The Last of Us Online

Alas, The Last of Us Online will never see the light of day. Naughty Dog has announced that it has “made the incredibly difficult decision to stop” its development. It explains that the online team had a clear vision of the project and had already refined its gameplay. However, it soon became clear when the company was ramping the game up to full production that it was going to bite off more than it can chew. If it releases an online game, it has to dedicate all its resources to supporting post launch content in the future. That means becoming a studio that exclusively offers live gaming services — one with no capacity to release more single-player narrative games like the original The Last of Us titles.

The studio first gave us a peek at concept art from the project in 2022, but it offered very little in terms of updates since. After the PlayStation Showcase in May, it admitted that it knows fans of the franchise are looking forward to hearing more about the game but that it realized that it needed more time to work on it and couldn’t share details just yet. Bloomberg reported shortly after that, though, that the studio had already reassigned developers working on the project to other teams and was reconsidering its viability. Clearly, Naughty Dog has decided its path, and it doesn’t lead to the release of an online title. The developer says it has “more than one ambitious, brand new single player game” in the works and will be sharing what’s next when it’s ready.

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