Call this one a “bittersweet victory.” In an interview with Game Informer, Neil Druckmann and Bruce Staley of Naughty Dog said that the studio is focused on Uncharted 4 right now and that a potential sequel to The Last of Us will need to wait until that game is done before any real work is put into it.
Straley called The Last of Us 2 “a big if” and said that the studio is “110 percent in Uncharted 4 territory now. Blinders on, make this awesome.”
Game Informer mentioned that many fans of The Last of Us believe that game should just be a standalone adventure, just a one-off that doesn’t necessarily need a sequel. Druckmann agreed.
“We totally get it, because we have those same feelings as well,” he said. “We have brainstormed sequel ideas for The Last of Us, and we’ve brainstormed ideas for new games, but all of that is put on ice right now while we work on Uncharted 4.”
When asked if either of the two could see a sequel to The Last of Us being made without them, Druckmann couldn’t answer, so Straley jumped in for him. “I will answer for [Druckmann.] He would not be OK with that.”
A delay on a sequel to The Last of Us might sound like a bummer at first, but given how scattershot most studios are these days, turning out sequels every year and dividing attention between several different products at once, it’s refreshing to hear a studio put a guaranteed hit on hold to focus on one at a time, especially given how passionate those developers are about that property.
Since Uncharted 4 has such an incredible amount of hype surrounding it, that game is going to need that kind of focus and care paid to it to ensure it’s the best game it can be, too. Uncharted has always been a fairly uneven franchise, so while it’s maybe disappointing for fans of The Last of Us who wanted to see Joel and Ellie’s adventure continue sooner rather than later, this is definitely the right move.