After years of waiting, the multiplayer mode of The Last of Us Parte II It’s not going to happen again. A Naughty Dog announced that the so-called The Last of Us Online is officially cancelled. In a statement published on its official website, the studio apologizes and explains the reasons that led to the end of the project.
“There is no easy way to say this: we have made the incredibly difficult decision to stop development of the game”, explains the producer. According to her, the team responsible for multiplayer had been working on the game since before the release of ELEPHANT 2, in 2020, suggesting that this pre-production has been going on for almost four years. “They were creating a unique experience that had a lot of potential,” says the text.
And, despite saying that the gameplay of The Last of Us Online was becoming increasingly refined and satisfying, Naughty Dog explains that the company’s ambition changed scope and that this directly impacted what they expected from multiplayer.
“To launch and support ELEPHANT Onlinewe would have to put all of our studio’s resources and efforts into creating post-launch content over the next few years, which would severely impact the development of future single-player games.”
Thus, as the company itself describes, it found itself faced with two paths: becoming a producer dedicated to a game as a service or continuing to focus on single-player titles with an emphasis on great narratives — something that the company describes as being the biggest Naughty Dog’s legacy to this day. Thus, the decision was made.
In the official statement, the studio says it is very proud of all the professionals who worked on the project and that the learning and investments in technology made with The Last of Us Online they will be used in other projects and will help in their growth and the success of the next games.
The curious thing is that the cancellation announcement comes less than a month before the release of the remastered version of The Last of Us Parte II for PlayStation 5. In fact, when the new generation game was confirmed, many people asked about the delay in online and whether these efforts to relaunch a title that already had next-gen features would not have hindered the development of multiplayer.