The Last of Us multiplayer game is dead in the water

Sad news has come out of Naughty Dog today, especially for The Last of Us fans: the highly anticipated online multiplayer spin-off of The Last of Us has officially been canceled. 

The news came from Naughty Dog directly via their online blog, where the team announced they were making the difficult decision to halt development on the multiplayer game and scrap it completely. 

The Last of Us Online promotional artwork
The Last of Us Online concept art got a lot of fans excited, but now it is a bittersweet piece of artwork. Image via Naughty Dog.

The blog post goes into detail as to why this decision was made, and while it is painful news for those of us who were looking forward to a The Last of Us online multiplayer experience, it is completely understandable as to why the development team made this choice. 

The explanation of this decision was as follows on Naughty Dog’s blog: “To release and support The Last of Us Online we’d have to put all our studio resources behind supporting post launch content for years to come, severely impacting development on future single-player games. So, we had two paths in front of us: become a solely live service games studio or continue to focus on single-player narrative games that have defined Naughty Dog’s heritage”.

Naughty Dog’s commitment to continuing its legacy of narrative-driven, engaging single-player experiences with its games is admirable. That said, this news is still a blow to both the fans and the team, who were working so incredibly hard on the project.

Promotional artwork of Ellie from The Last of Us Part 2
The Last of Us Part Two Remastered is coming soon, though now it is the only upcoming game content confirmed for The Last of Us series. Image via Naughty Dog.

As someone who didn’t even have access to the internet in my home until I was in my 20s, I cannot stress the importance of single-player games that don’t need internet connections to be played. If it wasn’t for these kinds of games, from studios such as Naughty Dog, I wouldn’t have been able to continue on the path I did towards video game journalism as I simply would not have had access to enough of them thanks to the rise of the live service game and the increased reliance on the internet when it comes to playing most kinds of video games.

Hopefully, all of those on the development team who are affected by the game’s cancellation will be able to continue their work in other areas at Naughty Dog. For now, we can mourn the loss of what could have been an amazing game, but also be grateful that we will continue to get single-player narrative games from Naughty Dog for years to come. 

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