Naughty Dog officially unveiled The Last of Us Part 2 at PlayStation Experience, but a major hint is now discovered that went unnoticed two months earlier.
This year’s PlayStation Experience event brought an announcement that many gamers had been eagerly anticipating for some time. After months of hype and speculation, Naughty Dog confirmed that The Last of Us Part 2 is officially in development.
It had long been rumored that the studio would create a sequel to The Last of Us, given the original game’s enormous popularity. However, the reveal added one particularly pertinent piece of information; this time around, Ellie will be the main character.
While Ellie is a very popular character, it was still something of a surprise to see Naughty Dog cast the spotlight on her in The Last of Us Part 2. Most AAA releases gravitate toward a male lead, so it’s interesting to see the studio try something a little different.
However, the reveal may not have been quite so surprising had fans understood the deeper meaning behind Naughty Dog’s celebration of Outbreak Day back in September. In The Last of Us, September 26 is known as the day on which the disastrous Cordyceps fungus reached critical mass.
This year, Naughty Dog released a limited edition poster to mark Outbreak Day 2016. Looking at the product now, it’s easy to see how the design hints at Ellie’s prominent presence in The Last of Us Part 2. However, few could pick up on these subtleties at the time, according to a report from Gamespot.
The poster presents a stylized image of butterflies and leaves morphing into an arm that holds a knife. In the reveal trailer for The Last of Us 2, we see that between the first game and the second, Ellie has had a similar design tattooed onto her right arm.
Of course, it would have been rather difficult for anyone to decode the poster as a hint that a The Last of Us Part 2 announcement was imminent. Still, it’s impressive that Naughty Dog managed to get away with a tease hidden in plain sight — even if the announcement was leaked ahead of time.
Unfortunately, the tease doesn’t give us any further information as to how long The Last of Us Part 2 has been in active development. While we know it’s on its way, it’s difficult to predict exactly when the sequel will be ready for the masses. No doubt Naughty Dog will be more than willing to share further details on the development of the title when they become available.
The Last of Us Part 2 is in production for the PlayStation 4.