Did a Freelance Artist Just Tease The Last of Us 2?

The past 48 hours have seen Naughty Dog fans around the world collectively lose their minds. After a series of major Naughty Dog departures shook the gaming world, it appears as though some titillating news about the iconic developer is finally hitting the Internet.

Earlier in the week, The Last of Us Game Director Bruce Straley posted a cryptic tweet detailing that he saw an extremely exciting prototype.

This flew under the radar because it didn’t seem to be anything special. A developer talking in riddles about something cool that was being developed? Who cares? However, when freelance artist Marek Okon (who worked on concept art for The Last of Usposted this image to Facebook, it seemed that Straley’s tweet may have been hinting at something much larger than we originally anticipated:

"Let me tease you something... Its coming... ;]" - Marek Okon's cryptic caption on this piece of concept art

“Let me tease you something… Its coming… ;]” – Marek Okon’s cryptic caption on this piece of concept art

Originally discovered by a Reddit user, the image appears to show an older version of Ellie holding a guitar. Yeah, that same Ellie that captured the hearts of million in The Last of Us. This image, combined with Straley’s tweet, is fueling speculation that The Last of Us 2 is indeed in development. Okon later took to Facebook to explain the image, leaving us all with more questions than answers:

“Lol. This is how you know you are teasing your stuff the right way
So before its gonna get blown out of proportions – its gonna be strictly personal image.
Is it about TLOU2? Not really… Maybe… Its classified ;P
But seriously its gonna be just a fan art ;]”

I know what you are thinking: “There are far too many winky-faces in that Facebook for this not to mean anything!” The overly sarcastic tone of Okon’s status is leading many to think that this picture is far more important than a simple piece of fan art would be. While everything is speculation at this point, something strange is happening at Naughty Dog. Here’s to hoping that this image and Straley’s tweet do indicate that The Last of Us 2 is indeed in the works.