For a while now the developers at Naughty Dog have been playing a game of chicken with their fans. Both parties know that The Last of Us 2 is inevitable, but while one doesn’t want to tip their hand too early, the other just wants the developer to get it over with.
Whatever the case may be, some members of The Last of Us team have done little to hide the fact that talks about The Last of Us 2 have occurred and are occurring. In fact, it seems likely that the only thing standing in The Last of Us 2’s way, as far as an official announcement is concerned, is Uncharted 4.
So, while Sony Computer Entertainment president Shuhei Yoshida was talking with Eurogamer at EGX, it was inevitable that the conversation shift to The Last of Us 2, if only for a little bit. Considering this is the 20th anniversary year of the PlayStation 1, much of the interview (read it here) is focused on the history of the PS brand as a whole, but the publication would be remiss if it didn’t ask about one of Sony’s worst kept secrets.
As Yoshida explains, Sony is just as excited to see the future of The Last of Us franchise as anyone else. He acknowledges that development conversations have taken place at Naughty Dog and with Sony, but is quick to point out that the game has not been officially announced.
“We haven’t confirmed The Last of Us 2, but ever since the launch of the first game, people like Neil are talking about some ideas for a potential sequel, some experiments that they want to do. It’s just talks around development. We have no confirmed information for the sequel. But, like many people, we wish to see what it’s going to be like, how the story’s going to develop, what life these characters have after what happened in The Last of Us.”
That’s likely a smart move on Sony’s part because (a) it keeps the focus on Uncharted 4 and (b) it doesn’t create unrealistic expectations about when The Last of Us 2 might release. By that we mean, the sequel likely hasn’t even started meaningful development yet, and therefore won’t be out for at least a few years. We could be wrong, but look at the time between the rumors of Uncharted 4, the game’s official announcement, and now its Spring 2016 release date.
Ultimately, though, The Last of Us 2 will be announced, and there will be much rejoicing within the Sony fan base. The first game was easily one of the best-reviewed and most beloved releases on the PlayStation 3, so much so that some gamers called for Naughty Dog to neglect Uncharted entirely.
At one point, Naughty Dog fans of both games would have got their wish, but unfortunately Uncharted 4 lost Amy Hennig, and The Last of Us directors Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley stepped in to help get Nathan Drake’s final adventure back on track. So, presumably when they are done with Uncharted, The Last of Us 2 development can start to ramp up.