Naughty Dog cancels The Last of Us Online

Naughty Dog has decided to cancel The Last of Us Online, the multiplayer spin-off of its acclaimed post-apocalyptic franchise.

Naughty Dog cancelled The Last of Us Part Online multiplayer. (Image Credit: Naughty Dog)

The studio cited that the project’s scope, upon entering full production, proved to be beyond their capacity to handle effectively. They highlighted the necessity of diverting excessive resources from their ongoing single-player projects to support the cancelled title further. Naughty Dog clarified that to maintain the game properly, it would require a shift towards an exclusive focus on live service development, a direction they are not willing to pursue.

Stay tuned with breaking news on HT Channel on Facebook. Join Now

“In ramping up to full production, the massive scope of our ambition became clear,” the studio said in a statement.

“To release and support The Last of Us Online we’d have to put all our studio resources behind supporting post launch content for years to come, severely impacting development on future single-player games,” the statement reads.

“So, we had two paths in front of us: become a solely live service games studio or continue to focus on single-player narrative games that have defined Naughty Dog’s heritage.”

ALSO READ| One tale, many lives: Inside the worlds of transmedia storytelling

The Last of Us Online was supposed to be a standalone game that expanded on the Factions mode from the original The Last of Us, which was released for PS3 in 2013. The online mode was initially planned to launch with The Last of Us Part 2, the PS4 sequel that came out in 2020, but was delayed indefinitely.

In 2022, Naughty Dog’s director Neil Druckmann admitted that the online mode had “evolved beyond the team’s ambition”.

Back in the PS3 era, it was common for single-player games to have an online component to extend their longevity and discourage resale. The Last of Us was one of the rare cases where the online mode was actually well-received and had a loyal fanbase. However, in 2023, the expectations for online games are much higher, and require a lot of resources and content to keep players hooked.

The fate of The Last of Us Online was sealed in May, when Naughty Dog announced another delay and Bloomberg reported that Sony had asked Bungie, the developer of Destiny, to evaluate the project’s feasibility. The report suggested that Bungie was not impressed and that the online mode was doomed.

ALSO READ| Rockstar Games’ GTA 6 portrays a satirical canvas of Miami

While some fans of Factions may be disappointed by this news, most Naughty Dog followers will probably be more excited by the studio’s announcement of two new single-player games in the works.

“The learnings and investments in technology from this game will carry into how we develop our projects and will be invaluable in the direction we are headed as a studio. We have more than one ambitious, brand new single player game that we’re working on here at Naughty Dog, and we cannot wait to share more about what comes next when we’re ready,” the studio stated.

Leave a Comment