Naughty Dog Defends ‘The Last of Us’ Against Multiplayer Criticism

Published 2 years ago by

The Last of Us Naughty Dog Multiplayer

For all the anticipation that’s gathered around The Last of Us since its reveal at the 2011 Spike VGA’s, it’s worth noting that nearly every iota is a product of the single-player campaign. Whether it’s the tenuously intimate relationship between Joel and Ellie, surviving the brutality and frugality of a post-apocalyptic world, or simply smashing in faces with a jagged-edged 2X4, it’s been the story of Naughty Dog’s latest adventure that’s come to captivate many fans. Multiplayer has been an afterthought.

Which might explain the reaction to its confirmation for the game on Monday.

Soon after Naughty Dog community strategist Arne Meyer revealed The Last of Us’s competitive multiplayer plans in a pre-order-details post on the PlayStation blog, the website’s commentariat seemed split: Some praised the idea, or at the very least were intrigued; others, however, accused Naughty Dog of “tacking it on” or misappropriating precious development resources that could have been used for single-player.

The Last of Us Multiplayer Gameplay Naughty Dog

Where some developer representatives might have chosen to ignore such backlash, Meyer was quick to defend Naughty Dog — and The Last of Us‘s multiplayer — as the grievances began to grow:

“We don’t approach MP in any of our games as tacked on. And we also always have separate teams working on the different components so that we can maintain full focus on making SP and MP up to our standards”

Responding to another commenter:

“And we have faith that our MP will stand on it’s own. If we felt like it would be tacked on, we wouldn’t have added it. We want all our game experiences to be of the highest quality and that’s what we work extremely hard to deliver.”

Considering that reports of The Last of Uss multiplayer (or at least some version of an online component) date back to February of earlier this year, the “tacked-on” stigma, we have to agree, hardly seems to apply. It’s also encouraging that The Last of Us’s single-player staff won’t be overburdened or distracted by any overlapping demands (ditto the multiplayer team). But what about the intentions of developing the mode in the first place?

The Last of Us Multiplayer Criticism

Responding to the idea that multiplayer was a marketing concession, Meyer says that Naughty Dog only develops what it truly believe in:

“We don’t develop games or features for bullet points — we make the games we enjoy and we hope you’ll enjoy as well.”

Justifying multiplayer has been a challenge for many story-centric or traditionally single-player-only games as online functionality becomes more pervasive. Mass Effect 3 learned this recently. As did Naughty Dog’s very own Uncharted series when multiplayer was introduced to Uncharted 2. But, speaking of Naughty Dog’s online pedigree, the multiplayer component of 2011’s Uncharted 3 (read our review) marked a vast improvement over its predecessor mainly because the developer devoted substantial time and effort towards it. Should The Last of Us follow the same trend — Meyer seems to be claiming that it is — fans may well develop an affinity for both sides of the game when it releases this May.

Do you think that multiplayer belongs in The Last of Us? Does Naughty Dog have the best intentions with developing it — and can it possibly reach the high bar many are anticipating the campaign will set?

The Last of Us releases on May 7th, 2013, exclusively for the PlayStation 3

Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: Official PlayStation Blog

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

  • George

    Good on Naughty Dog!

  • Alter

    hmm separate teams huh sounds like what happend to mass effect 3 Dum assess

  • jwalka

    the game just doesn’t seem all that interesting to me, visuals aside, i dont know what the big deal is with this. i’m all for story driven games, but the amount of hype this is getting doesn’t make sense considering we dont know what exact genre this falls under (if any specific one) and how deep the game is going to get (they just keep showing the one level over and over thinking it’s high and mighty when it really isn’t).

    • Ryuhza

      It’s a third person action adventure/survival horror shooter, with less emphasis on shooting, what with it being post apocalyptic.

      They showed one level twice, to exemplify the different approaches you can take to a situation, and to prove that the AI wasn’t all just part of a scripted event.

      And Naughty Dog has an incredible track record.

    • COREY_1993

      you like nothing though…

    • J

      The hype is because it’s Naughty Dog and since Naughty Dog became tied to the Playstation name they have yet to disappoint. I don’t need to care what kind of game it is, if it’s got Naughty Dogs name on it I just know it’s going to be good.

      • fanofgames

        I thought the same thing with bioware till dragon age 2 came out.

    • Jak Frost

      then why say any thing just go away

  • boogoo

    If the multiplayer is fun, adds replayability and doesn’t take away from the single player then….why not? I’m surprised people are just now complaining when Naughty Dog talked about multiplayer ages ago; not to mention we haven’t seen absolutely anything to judge from. People get their panties in a bunch too damn quick.

  • fanofgames

    I dont understand why people would think its tacked on and not needed when this is the first game of its series ( if it will be a series ). We dont even know what to expect from single player yet let alone if there are game elements that are needed.

  • fanofgames

    I dont understand why people would think its tacked on and not needed when this is the first game of its series (if it will be a series). We dont even know what to expect from single player yet let alone if there are game elements that are needed.

  • Ryuhza

    Bunch of whiners.

    Naughty Dog has great (and underrated) multiplayer. The Uncharted 2 Multiplayer Beta is what got me into that series in the first place.

  • COREY_1993

    this stuff irritates the hell out of me!

    this is what happened to god of war ascension when mulitplayer was announced then when people saw it it shut them up. like they said, multiplayer is worked on by a completely different team.
    i bet the people complaining would complain if there was no multiplayer.

  • Shalkowski

    The only problem I have is that not every game has to have MP. Like this game, this is a story driven game so why need MP (excluding co-op campaign)? Now I’m not saying anything bad about this game. I’m just saying it just seems unnecessary.

    • Eriberto Medrano

      That was how I felt for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood when it was announced that it will include multiplayer. But, I tried it and I actually enjoyed playing it. As long as game studios puts time and effort into creating a fun and unique mulitplayer without sacrificing the single-player experience.

    • fanofgames

      Every single game is story driven, regardless of multiplayer. We havent even played this game so you cant say multiplayer isnt necessary. Until the game is released and people have come out with their reviews, we wont know if the games singleplayer is lacking or not.

      • Shalkowski

        This style of game is much more story driven than say Call of Duty or Battlefield. This is an emotional experience. More of an art piece than a social game you play with your buddies. Whether or not we have played it yet doesn’t matter. Ipinion it just doesn’t seem necessary to have MP in every game. Especially this style of game.

        • Shalkowski

          **in my opinion**

          And I’m not criticizing anyone. I’m just making an observation and telling my opinion.

        • fanofgames

          Yet you dont even know the style of gameplay let alone how the multiplayer is.