The Last of Us 2 has been delayed. Sony has now confirmed the rumors that spread Thursday morning regarding The Last of Us 2's delay. Game director Neil Druckmann has since issued a statement about the state of the game and the delay where he explains that Naughty Dog came to the conclusion that it needed additional time to bring the game to a level of polish the team would call "Naughty Dog quality." The Last Of Us 2 will now release May 29, 2020.
Druckmann starts his statement by acknowledging how awkward the delay is given that The Last of Us 2 just had a major event revealing its release date a month ago. "The positive response we saw from our community was overwhelming," but Druckmann says the last few weeks of development changed things. "As we were closing out sections of the game ... we realized we simply didn't have enough time." The decision became, as it ever does in game development, to compromise on the game's quality or to delay. "This new release date allows us to finish everything to our level of satisfaction while also reducing stress on the team," Druckman added, perhaps referencing Naughty Dog's known crunch culture issues.
Druckmann goes on to apologize to fans for the delay, as well as the mistake announcing the game's release window before realizing how long the studio still needed. Speaking for the team at Naughty Dog, Druckmann says, "We hate disappointing our fans and for that we're sorry." However, Druckmann also acknowledges how relieved the team at Naughty Dog is that, with fans support, "we won't have to compromise our vision."
In his final comments, Druckmann asks fans to understand the necessity of The Last of Us 2's delay and how Naughty Dog's past work will hopefully stand as evidence of the studio's expectations of quality. "We know the extra few months will add to what may already be an excruciating wait," he says, recognizing that it's excruciating for Naughty Dog, too. Naughty Dog is just as excited for everyone to play the game it's making as fans are to play it.
The Last of Us 2's original release date, announced just last month, was for February 21, 2020. It was the first release date for the game since it was initially announced in December 2016. The new release date, May 29, 2020, is just over 3 months later than initially planned. It's unclear whether or not The Last of Us 2's delay will impact the release plans of any other games planned for the same window, like Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Ghost of Tsushima also remains notably absent from Sony's announced plans for 2020.
The Last of Us 2 releases May 29, 2020, exclusively on PS4.