the last of us part 2 roguelike

Image source: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Breaking promises.

Naughty Dog has announced the cancellation of its much-awaited project, The Last of Us Online. This decision marks a shift in the studio’s direction, prioritizing single-player narrative experiences over expanding into live service games. The news comes by way of an official announcement made via its X channel.

The Last of Us Online, initially in pre-production during the development of The Last of Us Part II, was envisioned as a unique multiplayer experience. The team at Naughty Dog had been working to refine the gameplay and direction of the project, with the studio expressing enthusiasm for the game’s potential.

However, as the project transitioned towards full production, its prerogatives changed. The ambitious scope of The Last of Us Online required a substantial commitment of studio resources for post-launch support, potentially for years. The studio has expressed that commitment would have had a significant impact on the development of future single-player titles.

As a result, the developer has chosen to continue its focus on single-player narrative games, a genre that has always been its hallmark. Fans will be frustrated by the decision (comments on the X thread are notably switched off), no doubt, but at least it reflects the studio’s dedication to its roots and the preferences of its core audience.

Despite the cancellation, the efforts and technological advancements made during the development of The Last of Us Online will apparently not go in vain. The studio emphasized that the learnings and investments in technology from this project would be invaluable for their future endeavors.

Naughty Dog also teased the development of more than one ambitious single-player game, reaffirming their commitment to narrative-driven experiences. There’s no word yet on what these are, but today’s announcement promises to share more information at some point soon.

Earlier this year, The Last of Us 2’s $200 million budget shocked the development community.