Developers Lament The Last Of Us Online

The project we’ve long called The Last of Us: Factions is something we can’t wait for any longer.


Naughty Dog’s game was obviously going to be the flagship of Sony’s live service expansion. The project was born out of the omission of a multiplayer mode from The Last of Us Part II, as they had a very large scope (a standalone game) for Factions, which then went silent until June 2022. Then franchise director Neil Druckmann hyped the project, which he did again in January of this year (calling it the studio’s most ambitious game to date and hinting at a cooperative focus) with the promise that we’d hear more about it this year.

In May came a delay, citing the need for more time, and then Jason Schreier, writing for Bloomberg, revealed that Bungie’s evaluation of the game was negative, so it had to be rethought. In October, 25 people were laid off at Naughty Dog, and the contractors stated that The Last of Us Online was essentially on thin ice, and in early November, Vinit Agarwal tweeted that no, it was still in development… then the official cancellation came at the end of the previous week. Naughty Dog doesn’t want to be a live service studio.

Then came the reactions from the developers: Nathaniel Ferguson (Technical Designer) called The Last of Us Online a very special project and a career highlight. Karl Morley (now at FireSprite, another Sony studio, but involved as an ex-game designer) learned more from this project than any other and called it the most fun multiplayer title ever, to which Agarwal responded thanking the team for their cohesion and teamwork.

We haven’t seen anything of The Last of Us Online other than a single leaked screenshot (and that’s of the menu… and the battle pass phrase there shows just how much Sony has been working on the live service beehive with both hands), and probably won’t for years.

Source: WCCFTech

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