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

Published 1 year 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 think it should have prequel about Joel’s earlier life

    • I agree with u I hope its a ps3 game aswell

  2. Maybe the Fireflies will go after Joel and Ellie? I’m sure they still need Ellie, and after what Joel did they probably have a large bounty on him.

  3. I would love to see a sequel and as an avid gamer (Tabletop rpg’s for the last 20+ years) I have run many an intriguing story for my friends. The best possible story lines I can envision (and trust me in the world of video games, topping LoU won’t be easy) but it would have to be one immediately following their return to Wyoming. The other possible story that could be good would be Joel’s brother and his travel across the country and time with the Fireflies.

  4. I think you should start the 2 story with Ellie and her life befor joel and how she got to where joel met her where we the people are playing as her.

  5. Don’t start a Last of Us sequel with Joel or Ellie please. Their story is perfect the way it is. Instead, create new characters that have a different kind of bond. For example, a brother and brother, sister and sister, or brother and sister type of bond. I loved Joel and Ellie’s father and daughter bond, but don’t ruin their story by adding onto it. It’s fine the way it is. Instead, create new characters. The universe that the Last of Us is built on is a very good foundation for great stories. So please, PLEASE, DO NOT CONTINUE JOEL AND ELLIE’S STORY! Create new characters instead!

  6. I will wait for years if i have to for a sequel to this game!!
    But the sooner the better <3

  7. I think a story on Joel’s life leading to the outbreak would be cool. And I also feel like the end of The Last of Us was something they could go off from because Joel lied to ellie about the fireflies and their relationship was just getting better in the end. I crave more of them. Such a cute father-daughter relationship. Even if they do make a second game I really want them to be in it! I’ve finished the game for a second time and i’m expieriencing withdrawal. #MoreJoelandEllie

  8. I think you should continue Joel’s and Ellie’s story because it reminds me of the walking dead in a way there has to be a safe place they can find and live there at the end of the sequel

  9. You should continue where the story ended back at the plantation.
    Then do like it’s bin overrun by the infected that be a great story
    and continually have Joel and Ellie in the game it would really he a
    downer if they got changed like different characters

  10. Why not make it to where they fight through this zombie apocalyptic game into where mankind make a come back and then leave it to end that way and or make a prequel after that there are many ways u can take this title naughty dog do u really want to anger ur fans could be bad for business

  11. I really think that there should be a last of us 2 and I would love to see joel and
    ellie meet up in the next story and if there was a last of us 2 I would surely play
    it.so I Hope that there will be a last of us 2 it sounds like a fun game.

  12. I think it would be great if they release a series about of joel’s earlier life a scene of the twenty years that passed I recon the time they out into that was effortless but I might change im a ps3 gamer if they release it I think it should be on ps3 aswell as the 360 if they do this I will defintly be buying this and buying atleast 20 more copies for give away

  13. Do Ellie’s life before she met Joel and what it was like being born into the apocalypse that would be the best option and I’ve only played the first game 20 times I need a new last of us game to play!

  14. They got to make a sequel to this game and keep the same characters, the game can start with them now living and working together, the fireflys are now the enemy and find where they are, chasing down ellie to kill her for the cure. So they flee, and eventually manage to find word of a small lab that may have found a way to extract the cure without harming ellie. Get her there! :)

  15. There is still a lot of story holes.
    What happens next? Wolud Ellie find out what happened? Does Joel have quite a big bounty on his head?
    The game ended on such a cliffhanger…
    Would also be available on PS3?

    Or Joel will be chased by the Fireflies, but he found another place where they could get the antidote without harming Ellie.
    And maybe have to go over to another continent… Because somebody sent thema radio message (that probably would be a trap), but they have to save the real surgeon from the hands of Fireflies… And maybe they have to fly a plan to get there… And… Uh… What happens with Joel’s brother, maybe he will have a baby, and the baby will become a zamby (zombie baby), because his wife got bit in the day when the baby was meant to be born.
    I dunno… In this comment are at least 2 hours of gameplay.

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