It was to be one of the biggest games to see a release in 2020, but sadly Naughty Dog’s sequel to 2013’s The Last of Us no longer has a release date.
“We were faced with the reality that due to logistics beyond our control, we couldn’t launch The Last of Us Part II to our satisfaction. We want to make sure everyone gets to play The Last of Us Part II around the same time, ensuring that we’re doing everything possible to preserve the best experience for everyone. This meant delaying the game until such a time where we can solve these logistic issues”, wrote Naughty Dog.
Game makers Naughty Dog also admitted that the news “is just as disappointing to you as it is to us”. And indeed The Last of Us Part II is one of the most eagerly anticipated games ever – actually, the original was voted top game of the last decade by Metacritic users.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, players take control of main character Ellie, who early in the game embarks on a journey across the US in which she’ll have to deal with hostile humans and zombies as she advances towards her objective.
Announced back in 2016, Naughty Dog has revealed The Last of Us Part II will be a darker game than its predecessor, and that despite the change of protagonist Joel from the original game will still play a part in the sequel, which still won’t be an open world game as Naughty Dog explained last year.
However, now that the game has no release date attached to it, we don’t know when we’ll be able to get our hands on this highly promising game, despite the fact that Naughty Dog is now in the bug fixing stage of the development process.
But taking into account the ongoing coronavirus epidemic and the fact that Naughty Dog’s employees are working from home now, the game could still be delayed for several months. There won’t be a demo released either, something that Naughty Dog recently said would involve a “massive amount of work”. This might be a good thing then, taking into account that the studio has garnered a reputation for subjecting its employees to massive amounts of crunch.
Another thing is, why don’t Sony (the game’s publisher) and Naughty Dog consider doing an all-digital launch of The Last of Us Part II?
More and more people are buying games in digital format only these days. But some still prefer to buy physical copies of their console games (yours truly included), meaning this might not be such a great option for The Last of Us Part II.
Of course, doing a traditional launch now would involve shipping physical copies of the game to some regions (such as Australia) first due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning lots of spoiler-laden videos would inevitably make their way to YouTube.
And Naughty Dog has a reason to be worried about spoilers for a game featuring an original story like The Last of Us Part II. This is more of an issue with this game than say, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII Remake – which is based on a game form 1997 – as one Forbes contributor has pointed out.
So if this delay helps Naughty Dog deliver an even better game in a couple of months then all the better, even if this will surely be a bitter wait for those who have been waiting for years to get hold of the sequel to one of the best games released to date.