Popular video game voice actor Nolan North, known for playing Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series, has caused quite a stir in the video game industry today thanks to his participation in a Q&A panel at MetroCon in Tampa, Florida. Earlier, he spilled the beans in regards to Visceral's mysterious Amy Hennig Star Wars project, and now he's seemingly confirmed the existence of what will surely be one of the most anticipated PS4 exclusives ever, The Last of Us 2.
Once again during his Q&A panel at MetroCon, North created headlines by casually confirming the existence of The Last of Us 2. A fan inquired if North was collaborating with Naughty Dog on any projects following Uncharted 4, and he responded by confirming that Uncharted 4, for the time being, would be his last time working with Naughty Dog. However, North didn't stop there, as he followed up his statement by saying, "I know they're doing a Last of Us 2."
It seems like a no-brainer that Naughty Dog has The Last of Us 2 in the pipeline, but the fact that North is aware of it seems to insinuate that Naughty Dog discussed it with him at some point (despite his character not surviving the first game), so development may be further along than what Naughty Dog would have us believe. They did say at one point that development on Last of Us 2 was put on hold in order for them to focus entirely on Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, which was apparently a good move as Naughty Dog ended up scrapping eight months of work on Uncharted 4. This is compounded by the fact that a LinkedIn profile used by developer Michael Knowland stated that he had worked for at least one month on The Last of Us 2.
So, when can one expect The Last of Us 2? Naughty Dog's next big project, Uncharted 4, isn't due for release until Spring 2016, and Naughty Dog typically has two to three years between game releases. Going by that pattern, don't expect to see anything on The Last of Us 2 until 2017 at the earliest, with the game itself releasing somewhere probably in late 2018 or early 2019 as a PS4 exclusive.
While many simply assumed that The Last of Us 2 was a surefire bet given the success of the first game, it's not unlike Naughty Dog to abandon gaming franchises from one console generation to the next. It happened before with Crash Bandicoot and Jak, and they are poised to leave Uncharted behind as well, as Uncharted 4 is looking to wrap up the story of Nathan Drake. Considering Naughty Dog's history of leaving well-established franchises behind coupled with the jaw-dropping cliffhanger that capped off the original Last of Us, it's good to have a little extra reassurance that The Last of Us 2 is in development.
The Last of Us 2 has no release date in sight, but barring a mountain of delays during development that pushes it to next-gen, it's most definitely coming exclusively to PlayStation 4 at some point in the future.