Naughty Dog cancels its The Last of Us multiplayer game

Naughty Dog announced Thursday that it’s canceled the multiplayer game it was building in The Last of Us universe.

The studio says it has been in pre-production on The Last of Us Online even while working on The Last of Us Part II. “We were enthusiastic about the direction in which we were headed,” according to a blog post about the news.

However, “to release and support The Last of Us Online we’d have to put all our studio resources behind supporting post launch content for years to come, severely impacting development on future single-player games,” Naughty Dog says. “So, we had two paths in front of us: become a solely live service games studio or continue to focus on single-player narrative games that have defined Naughty Dog’s heritage.”

Clearly, Naughty Dog is picking the latter path — it also says it has “more than one” big new single-player title in the works.

The Last of Us Online development already seemed to be in some trouble, as Naughty Dog announced a delay to the game in May shortly after Bloomberg reported that Sony was re-evaluating the game’s direction. (In that same delay announcement, Naughty Dog also revealed it was working on a “brand-new single player experience.”) In Kotaku’s October report about Naughty Dog laying off some contractors, the publication said that The Last of Us’ Online was “basically on ice.”

The cancellation of The Last of Us Online adds to Sony’s broader pushback of its live service ambitions. Instead of releasing 12 live service games by March 2026, it now only plans to release six.

Sony and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II Remastered will be released on January 19th, 2024. The second season of the hit HBO show is set to debut in 2025.

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