The Next Last Of Us Game Hit With A Devastating Change

The number of developers working on The Last of Us multiplayer has been drastically reduced, and the game's release has been pushed back.

By Jason Collins | Updated

After Sony shut down its own studio and canceled a ton of games, we learned that Naughty Dog has scaled back the size of the upcoming The Last of Us multiplayer game following a project evaluation. What’s most interesting about this is that the evaluation was done by both Sony and its newly acquired studio, Bungie.

According to Bloomberg, Sony has reduced the number of people working on The Last of Us multiplayer project after Bungie raised concerns about the project’s ability to keep players engaged for a longer period of time—which is crucial for a multiplayer project—leading to the aforementioned reassessment. It’s important to note that the game hasn’t been canceled, but the vast majority of its developers have been reassigned to other projects, while a small group remains dedicated to the title as Sony continues its reassessment of the project viability.

This isn’t the first time The Last of Us has been hit with devastating news. The game’s developer, Naughty Dog, previously released a statement on social media, saying that the multiplayer would require more development time, which may hint at troubled development. As part of the same statement, Naughty Dog disclosed that the team is working on other projects as well, including a brand-new single-player experience.

Whether or not the developer is working on a new The Last of Us remains to be seen.

Admittedly, nobody denied that the upcoming single-player might be a new The Last of Us game, considering that Part 3 has already been outlined and drafted, and it’s sitting in one of Naughty Dogs’ many drawers. As for the multiplayer game, well, apart from the scale-back, there actually aren’t that many details surrounding the title. We know that the multiplayer has been planned from the beginning, and data miners have uncovered some elements of multiplayer in the two previous games, but whether or not those are related to the upcoming game is unknown.

The Last of Us

Sony, on the other hand, hasn’t made the decision to scale back The Last of Us on its own. The company keeps a historical distance from first-party multiplayer, dating back to PlayStation 2, so it doesn’t really have the necessary knowledge about the genre. However, as the rules of business dictate, one doesn’t have to know everything; it just needs to pay those that do.

And that’s exactly what Sony did with its acquisition of Bungie; it gained a marginally bigger market share and the developer’s massive experience in making multiplayer games.

Sony made Bungie an integral part of decision-making when it comes to first-party multiplayer, thus ensuring that multiplayer titles, like the aforementioned The Last of Us, have the best chances of success and provide a good return on investment. That’s a very smart move, considering that Sony reiterated its plans to make 12 live service titles by the end of FY 2026, which is a considerably higher number compared to the one the company announced the previous year. As of right now, the fate of The Last of Us multiplayer remains unknown. It’s still in the making, but for how long?