‘The Last of Us 2′ Update: Director Says Chances of a Sequel Are ’50/50′

Published 11 months ago by

Sony Registers The Last of Us Sequel Domains

[NOTE: The following news post will contain MAJOR SPOILERS for The Last of Us.]

One of the most talked-about titles of 2013, interest in The Last of Us has remained high – months after release. Last week (at the time of this writing), fans were treated to the short but sweet DLC, “Left Behind” – a prequel story that followed Ellie and her best friend Riley long before the core Last of Us campaign narrative. The add-on was a welcome return to Naughty Dog‘s post-apocalyptic world but with nothing but one more multiplayer DLC pack in the pipeline, Sony gamers have been eager for confirmation that the studio would, eventually, develop a Last of Us sequel.

Despite solid sales numbers and critical acclaim, The Last of Us 2 (or a non-Joel and Ellie spinoff) isn’t guaranteed – due to the studio’s priority for quality storytelling (over easy profits). In fact, according to The Last of Us creative director, Neil Druckmann, there’s only a 50/50 chance that Naughty Dog will ever revisit the budding franchise.

Responding to Naughty Dog fans in a Reddit AMA (ask me anything), Druckmann delivered the controversial news. Answering the question, “How good are the chances of us entering the world of The Last of Us again?” Druckmann stated:

“If you’re asking about a sequel … right now I’d say it’s 50/50.”

Those odds shouldn’t come as a total shock, given that two weeks back, he revealed that the studio was brainstorming ideas for both a Last of Us sequel as well as a new IP.

“We have started brainstorming some stuff. To be honest, some of them are sequel ideas, and some of them are brand new IP — we’ve spent the last few weeks brainstorming new IP. So we have to get some good steps and see… It’s kind of like how we approached Left Behind. Can we tell people a story that’s really worth telling, and that’s not repeating itself? And if we can’t, where can we get inspired — what is something that’s really going to challenge us, and push storytelling in this medium forward?”

The Last of Us Screenshot infected runners

Based on Druckmann’s prior comment, it sounds as though the story (and game) that is most exciting to the team will get the green light. After all, the mature subject matter and literary tone featured in The Last of Us narrative won’t be easy to reproduce without a clear direction for how the story (and gameplay) can evolve – and it would be a shame if Naughty Dog forced out a sequel that undercut the impact of Joel and Ellie’s original story. In the past, Druckmann even suggested, in speaking with the PlayStation Blog, that while Joel and Ellie would live-on beyond The Last of Us story, their journey had come to a satisfying end:

“I think the world is ripe for more stories, but as far as the journey Joel and Ellie go on it ends with this game. We were very conscious that we didn’t want to leave this story dangling. If we never do a sequel we’re okay with it, because we told the story we needed to tell.”

Still, even if the we never get a Last of Us sequel, fans shouldn’t expect Joel and Ellie to disappear entirely – because Druckmann would love to see the characters make the jump to another medium:

“I miss them [Joel and Ellie] dearly. I’d love to see them again–maybe in a different medium? We’ll see.”

Gamers who have been following Last of Us news should make the connection that Druckmann is likely talking about a movie – especially since Sony is rumored to be in the early stages of development on a film adaptation. Yet, the very fact that the publisher is planning a potential big screen retelling for Joel and Ellie would, without question, add pressure on Naughty Dog to expand The Last of Us series beyond a single game. Given that a Last of Us movie won’t be out for several years (at least), it’s hard to imagine that Sony would pass on the chance to direct increased branding awareness among moviegoers back toward the game division – meaning that a movie release would be the perfect time for a fresh next-gen Last of Us game to hit the market. Sony did register sequel domains – though they could just be covering their bases.

The Last of Us Live Action Trailer

Since a film hasn’t even been announced (and may never be produced), there’s still reason to believe we’ll never see a Last of Us sequel – especially if the developer’s new IP is even more successful than their last. Yet, would Naughty Dog really give up on The Last of Us entirely? Despite Druckmann’s current estimation of a 50/50 chance, it’s hard to imagine we’ll never get a sequel (or at the very least a spinoff without either Ellie or Joel).

Nevertheless, what could Druckmann have in mind for a future Last of Us installment?:

“There are clickers as big as buildings. Also you have lots of new gadgets and weapons (more lasers!). Oh and Ellie can now control the infected with her new powers. We’d also probably dive into the government conspiracy of creating a secret weapon that broke loose and that’s how the outbreak started. There’s probably a shadowy secret agency in all this that you find out Joel has been a member of this whole time (that’s why he came home late in the prologue!)”

Given the grounded approach to The Last of Us (this isn’t the Dead Rising series after all), the director is clearly teasing fans with such an over-the-top response – one that draws heavily from cliches of the zombie genre.

As a result, whether there’s actually a 50/50 chance we’ll see a Last of Us sequel (or not), there’s one thing we can be 100% sure of right now – whatever Naughty Dog is planning, Druckmann is not yet ready to offer concrete details.


The Last of Us is available now exclusively on PS3.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.

Source: Reddit [via Kotaku] and PlayStation Blog

TAGS: Naughty Dog, PS3, PS4, Sony, The Last of Us


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  1. I loved the last of us and want to see a sequel because I hated the fact the game left me hanging and wanting a sequel

  2. What do you mean, “the chances of a sequel are 50/50″. YOU LEFT THE STORY ON A CLIFFHANGER. Of course you have to finish it off! If you weren’t planning on making a sequel, at least give us a real ending with some context as to what happens to Joel, Ellie and the remaining Fireflies. That or we should have gotten a two-choice ending, one where Joel saves Ellie but he is then killed in his confrontation with the other fireflies and we get to see Ellie escape, and another where Joel lets Ellie die and humanity is saved. Haven’t developers learned from Half Life 2 Episode 2 that making cliffhangers at the end of games is the stupidest thing to do if you’re not sure about releasing a sequel?

    • the ending wasn’t a cliffhanger.

    • Well first of all I don’t believe the ending was a cliff hanger. Second you have no idea if Ellie would have saved humanity, because that’s not exactly what was happening. If you found the voice recorder the doctor or whoever said that there were other patience before Ellie and they didn’t produce any results. So you have no idea what would have happened. I personally would like to see a sequel but I’m ok on the bleak ending we got, because it let my mind wander. I believe that what Naughty Dog wanted.

  3. 1 of the things I would have liked is proper DLC, instead of the that multiplayer gear debacle,

    2 episodes.

    1) Following Tommy’s time in the Fireflies. It would have helped to flesh out Tommy’s character, it would have given further explanation to the Fireflies and what they hope to achieve. It could also have revealed that Joel was part of the Fireflies until be became disillusioned with their lack of progress/results.

    2) Following Tess during the initial stages of the outbreak. Since Tess is 32ish, she’d be 12ish during the initial outbreak. Experiencing that carnage and chaos through the eyes of kid, would add a whole new dynamic to it. The difficulty curve could have been built around the inherent vulnerabilities of a child, such as a lack physical strength.

    I’d definitely like a sequel, but I don’t want a sequel just for the sake of having a sequel. It’s going to have to maintain the legacy of the series, so it shouldn’t just happen because fans want it. Having said that the ambiguous nature of the end means that a sequel, or at least a final DLC chapter is required.

  4. I would love to see a new zombie game that plays as well as the Last of Us with some parkour players and has a great story line. Nothing cheesy though.

  5. A story with Joel, Ellie, Tommy and his wife would be good for a sequel. Maybe something occurs in the community that Joel and Ellie went back to, and they need to take another adventure to solve the problem that they were challenged with. Or maybe another version of The Last of Us where Tess doesn’t die and they actually “Take it easy” at the end. Just some thoughts.

  6. the last of us two should be about elli finding out that jole lied and tries going to the fire flies with her two kids

    • That would be rather interesting, but there would have to be a little more than a set up. Such as some new civilizations you come across on the journey.
      - Maybe a new leader of the fireflies who is more strategic than Marlene, and is slowly wiping out many different threats to their organization. He could also be tracking down Ellie or what not hearing that she is the cure from one of the doctors at the hospital.
      - A group of people who have trained killing animals for both human and infected targets.
      - Along with the animals thought, there could be some more threats introduced that grew over the time of the absence of humans, such as the zoo animals. People could have let them out in the chaos.

      I don’t really know :I But introducing new elements is key to success. All I can think about is animals some reason.

  7. So they may not develop a sequel because Naughty Dog doesn’t want to shell out “easy” sequels? Meanwhile, on Uncharted 4….

  8. The story was never really about joel and ellie or even the fireflies trying to save the world, it was at ots core the developement of joel and ellies unique relationship and how it and they change durring their journey. The reason the story was not a cliffhanger was because the story of the two’s journey was at its end, as was the grand journey. One could simply say that the original goal of their journey was more of just reason to kick off their relationship and how the journey in turn changed each of them for better or for worse. The focus of the game was never to find the fireflies so they could make a cure-although of course it is the characters goal throughout the story. The focus was primarily set on the duo and their life-changing adventure. Thats why what happened to the fireflies and just what happened to joel and ellie after settling down at tommys’ doesnt really matter, because it wasnt the focus of the story.


  10. That “future TLOU installment” sounds horrible.

  11. If there is a sequel, I like the idea except for Joel being in this sort of shadowy secret agency they released the infection unto the world. Wouldn’t that make him the bad guy in all this after all he did for Ellie? And after losing his daughter, making him the bad guy is stupid. However, the other ideas are very intriguing and hope it follows through and becomes The Last of Us Sequel. A lot of questions. Don’t end Joel and Ellie here, they are amazing characters. Great Work!

  12. I think it would be good if they told the story of elli her friend and maybe her mom and how her mother died and as u know in the beginning of the last of us joel and tess go through some trouble getting to elli well what if it showed the story from Ellies point of view just some thoughts but over all the story ended very well I would like to see a sequel though

  13. Here’s the thing. I just finished the game bI NEED A BLOODY SQUEAL HERE!!! He lied to Ellie right when the game was ending WTF. We need a sequel.

  14. Naughty Dog really do make some of the highest quality games in the industry- everything they make is faultless, so, as much as I loved the last of us, I’m very happy to leave the story where it ended, and leave the Last of Us on a high note, rather than see a sequel that doesn’t live up to expectations.

    Naughty Dog might actually be the only ‘good’ company in the games industry still out there- most other companies only care about sales and the profit from their titles, but the fact that Naught Dog are not following up one of their best-selling game with a sequel, just proves how dedicated they are to creating high quality entertainment.

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