The Last of Us Part II has Gone Gold

The last thing I will say is no matter what you have seen or heard or read, nothing compares to playing this thing from beginning to end. It’s a video game, you got to play it. -Neil Druckmann

Naughty Dog has shared a video of Neil Druckmann announcing the game has gone gold (don’t worry, comments are disabled). A big moment for the entire team at Naughty Dog. I can’t wait to see how the game shakes out.

I’ve decided to transcribe what Neil said, in case you’d rather read it than watch. He gets quite emotional though, which won’t necessarily come through.

Hey guys. As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, The Last of Us Part II has a release date of June 19, 2020, but that’s not what this video is about. We wanted to let you know that we have gone gold. So back in April we told you that, you know, due to the state of the world, logistics way beyond our control, we had to push the game, which gave us a few extra weeks to polish. Now that we have a release date, we’ve submitted our gold master. So that means discs are starting to get pressed and the executable is being put on the PlayStation Network. You’re going to have our game in a few short weeks. Normally this would be a moment of celebration, you know we’d be at the office having a drink, eating cake, but we are all stuck in our homes.

I just want to take this moment to congratulate the team that has pulled off the most ambitious game we have ever made. I know I’ve said this before, but you won’t know to what degree until you get your hands on it and just see the care. The care that has gone into every detail from the level design, the mechanics, just graphically how the game looks, environments, art direction, characters, story, the audio design, the soundtrack — oh my God the soundtrack is so amazing — that even for us who have played this game, we can’t even count how many times, we know it inside and out, we’re still emotionally moved. I’ve just finished a playthrough and I was crying by the end of it. It’s just pretty incredible and I’m extremely proud of it, the team is extremely proud of it and we can’t wait to hear what you guys think once you finally play it.

I will just want to say on behalf of everyone at Naughty Dog, we want to say thank you to you guys. You know, you have been very patient waiting for this game for years with us and you’re just a few weeks away from getting it. A lot of you have sent us very sweet, encouraging messages along that time that have been very helpful as we make this thing. The last thing I will say is no matter what you have seen or heard or read, nothing compares to playing this thing from beginning to end. It’s a video game, you got to play it. Other than that, I will just say I hope you guys are doing well, stay safe. take care of your loved ones and we’ll have a lot more for you real soon. Take care. Good bye.

I am particularly drawn into his emphasis about no matter what, which is clearly a direct callout to the massive leak that occurred just last week. It leans heavily into the heart of my history of Naughty Dog during the PS4 generation, Chasing the Stick. It really is the history of The Last of Us Part II and how the studio ended up making this game. It have been nearly four years since the game’s announcement. Now it’ll just be another 46 days.