Naughty Dog’s top priority, at least for the next couple of months, will be working on the seasonal downloadable content for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. But no one really knows what’s next for the Sony-owned studio after they’re done with all the DLC for Uncharted 4. Some have suggested that they’ll begin working on The Last of Us 2, while others seem to think that they’ll develop a brand new IP.
Neil Druckmann, who is the creative director for Naughty Dog, has said that the studio is considering developing a new IP after all of the Uncharted 4 DLC is released. He’s also said that, prior to them being asked to work on Uncharted 4, they were prototyping The Last of Us 2. It’s unknown if they’ve resurrected those prototypes, or if they’re going to put them on the back burner for now.
According to What Culture, Naughty Dog may be holding off on releasing The Last of Us 2 until the next console generation due to the studio’s inner turmoil which delayed the release of Uncharted 4. Of course, no one really knows when the next console generation will be, but it’s probably safe to assume that it’ll be no more than five years from now.
The first Last of Us game came at the tail end of the last console generation, and then they ended up remastering the game for the PlayStation 4 a year after it was originally released. So, they may end up doing the same thing with The Last of Us 2.
We did get a hint at a Last of Us sequel in Uncharted 4‘s epilogue, as a poster with a pregnant woman — who most think is Ellie — was hanging in Cassie Drake’s room. The poster was titled “The Last of Us: American Daughters.”
In Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Naughty Dog hinted at the first Last of Us game by putting a newspaper in the opening scene which had a headline that read “scientists are still struggling to understand deadly fungus.” We would later learn that the newspaper was referring to the cordyceps virus in The Last of Us.
Before this past June’s Electronic Entertainment Expo [E3], gaming insider Shinobi 602 said that he knows Naughty Dog is prototyping The Last of Us 2, but he doesn’t expect them to announce the project any time soon.
There have been some reports which suggest that The Last of Us 2 will be released at some point in 2017, but that seems a bit too early, especially because the game hasn’t even been announced yet. Now, could it be announced at some point in 2017? Sure. In fact, most people are expecting it to be at next year’s E3.
If you look at the release dates of all the Naughty Dog games since 2007 — Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, The Last of Us, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End — you’ll see that they typically release games about every two and a half years. So, if they follow that scheduled with The Last of Us 2, that’ll mean the game will be released in late 2018, as Uncharted 4 was released in May of this year.
The third annual PlayStation Experience event [PSX] is scheduled to take place this coming December, and some are expecting The Last of Us 2 to be announced there, which would be quite a surprise because we haven’t even gotten a hint that Naughty Dog is planning on announcing it any time soon. It’s probably more likely that Naughty Dog will announce the Uncharted 4 single player DLC at PSX 2016, and then they’ll give us our first look at The Last of Us 2 at next summer’s E3.
[Featured Image by Naughty Dog/Sony Computer Entertainment]