During a panel discussion at PSX 2016, Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann addresses concerns by some gamers that The Last of Us: Part 2 won’t live up to its predecessor.

At the end of the opening presentation for this weekend’s PlayStation Experience 2016 event, Sony revealed a brief but compelling trailer for The Last of Us: Part 2, the sequel to the highly acclaimed The Last of Us. And while the trailer has many gamers excited, it has also sparked some concern within some players about whether or not The Last of Us: Part 2 will live up to its predecessor.

During a panel at PlayStation Experience, Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann addressed those concerns and sought to alleviate any worry gamers may have. He admitted that there is some worry among gamers that a sequel will diminish the poignancy and influence of The Last of Us, and is possibly just a cash-grab after the success of the first game in the franchise. Druckmann said:

“So much thought went into this and I know there’s a lot of people that feel this trepidation about coming back to these characters and revisiting what that ending means and worrying whether that’s going to spoil the first game.

“You have to understand we feel all those things as well. No one loves these characters more than we do and we would not do this if we didn’t fee like we had the right idea. The ‘Part 2’ is really doubling down on that to say we believe in this so much. We’re not trying to avoid it.”

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For Naughty Dog, the two games are companions and are both crucial parts to an overall narrative. As Druckmann puts it, The Last of Us: Part 2 is a necessary part of the story that shouldn’t be left out. He said:

“I played with so many ideas that had different characters and it never felt right. The Last of Us is about these two characters specifically. So yes, the Part 2 is saying this is a complementary story to the first game, but the two together are going to tell this larger tale. All I ask is that fans of the first one put faith in us and trust us. We’re going to do right by you.”

Druckmann revealed earlier in the panel that players will be taking on the role of Ellie in The Last of Us: Part 2, and that the story will take place a few years after the events of The Last of Us. In the first game, players primarily controlled Joel, though they were able to play as Ellie for a short mission during the game. However, now that Ellie has grown a bit, there seems to be an opportunity for players to expand their experience in the world of The Last of Us, and truly begin to understand the effects the world’s events have had on Ellie.

It’s not surprising that some gamers are worried about a sequel to The Last of Us. It seems to happen all too often that when a game studio finds success, they try to milk it for whatever revenue they can get. This often leads to sequels that shame the franchise and diminish the power of the first game.

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Fortunately, Naughty Dog has a strong track record with delivering top-notch sequels to their titles. Last year’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is considered by many to be the best game in the franchise. In fact, Game Rant gave the title a perfect score, something that doesn’t happen very often.

Druckmann’s words will undoubtedly alleviate the concerns of some gamers, but until The Last of Us: Part 2 actually arrives, there will still be many who worry that the sequel won’t live up to The Last of Us. That said, most gamers are excited to see what Naughty Dog delivers, and are interested in how the story will unfold when told through Ellie’s perspective.

As of right now, The Last of Us: Part 2 is still in early development, so there is currently no release date set for the title. Considering the information provided so far from the developer, gamers can expect to wait a while before getting a firm release date.

What do you think about Druckmann’s response to concerns over The Last of Us: Part 2? Are you worried the developer won’t be able to live up to the first game?

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