[An Update on The Last of Us Online](https://www.naughtydog.com/blog/an_update_on_the_last_of_us_online) by Naughty Dog >We realize many of you have been anticipating news around the project that we’ve been calling *The Last of Us Online*. There’s no easy way to say this: We’ve made the incredibly difficult decision to stop development on that game... > >...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. Well, [[Big Three Predictions 2023|crap]]. What an absolute ride this game's development has been. From splintering off from *The Last of Us Part II*, to [[The Last of Us Multiplayer Game Drip Feed Keeps on Dripping|an announcement]], to a [[The Last of Us Factions Multiplayer Game Delayed|freeze]], to cancellation. This game has been in some form of development for nearly eight years. Naughty Dog staffed up for this project. At the beginning of 2023, it was slated to be shown off to the public in some manner. now as the year closes, the game is dead. > The multiplayer team has been in pre-production with this game since we were working on *The Last of Us Part II* – crafting an experience we felt was unique and had tremendous potential. As the multiplayer team iterated on their concept for *The Last of Us Online* during this time, their vision crystalized, the gameplay got more refined and satisfying, and we were enthusiastic about the direction in which we were headed. Naughty Dog has been open about this vision since 2017. I harbor on this quote often because I never see it brought up by others and I think this vision is *very* Naughty Dog. This quote is from Neil Druckmann in [a 2017 hiring video](https://youtu.be/NyMFedzlahk). > What we don’t want is multiplayer to feel like a mode. We want it to be almost its own game—its own experience. It might start with an idea world or an idea of a mechanic or, even more recently, a certain feeling that we’re after. And then we will explore, okay, ‘what kind of world can evoke that feeling? What kind of mechanics can evoke that feeling? What kind of psychological situations can we put multiple people in that speak back to the theme that we’re after. I know during the development of *Part II* key staff was into battle royales like *[Fortnite](https://x.com/Grosstastic/status/1238838236656455680)* and *[PUBG](https://x.com/Neil_Druckmann/status/887557304563847168)*.[^1] Factions has that last man standing sheer tension integrated into the survival, crafting, gunplay. 🤔 I'm not saying that *The Last of Us Online* was going to be a pure battle royale, but rather to point out the bones of a thrilling "fight to the end" multiplayer game have always been a part of Factions. When you look back at how live service games have grown over the course of this game's development, I think the dots start to connect themselves to a degree. > In ramping up to full production, the massive scope of our ambition became clear. 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. I am happy that Naughty Dog/Sony has made the right decision, given that ultimatum. Naughty Dog forsaking single-player narrative games would have been a tragedy. Naughty Dog abandoning a (to me) tantalizing multiplayer game sucks. I am truly sad for the team and the years of work poured into a specific game that will never officially see the light of day. While the "learnings and investments in technology" will stick with the studio and be integrated into future titles, it's a shame we'll never see what was to be. > We have more than one ambitious, brand new single player game that we're working on here at Naughty Dog, and we cannot wait to share more about what comes next when we’re ready. I wonder what the other game is besides *[[History is Repeating Itself|The Last of Us Part III]]*. I wager Naughty Dog will never announce a game years in advance again. --- [^1]: I'm sure there are *many* developers at Naughty Dog that are into those games. I just remember those two tweets in particular.