Coming off last year’s release of The Last of Us Remastered and next year’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, all eyes are on Naughty Dog’s next big project with a series of rumors regarding a sequel to The Last of Us having a bigger presence throughout the year, where Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann sought to set the record straight.
Speaking in an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine (via GamesRadar+), Druckmann addressed the rumors of “The Last of Us 2” head-on, following earlier reports this year from voice actor Nolan North seeming to confirm that a sequel to The Last of Us was in development at Naughty Dog.
Druckmann took on the rumors candidly by addressing that internal prototypes of a sequel to The Last of Us were being worked on within Naughty Dog, though since that time the company’s entire focus has been on development for Uncharted 4, as Druckmann explained regarding North’s comments that “I was like ‘Oh he knows more than we know [about] what we’re doing next.’ We joked about it afterwards during shoots and stuff.”
Following that, Druckmann elaborated a little further on clarifying The Last of Us sequel rumors, explaining:
“The answer is – and this is totally honest, and I’ve said this in the past – that when Bruce (Straley) and I moved over to Uncharted 4, we were brainstorming ideas for The Last Of Us 2 with new characters; ideas for TLOU 2 with Joel and Ellie; ideas for a sci-fi game; ideas for a fantasy game, and building prototypes for each one of those ideas. And just as we were getting close to settling or narrowing that list down, we were asked to work on Uncharted 4.”
While it’s clear that Naughty Dog does seem to have an interest in returning to the world of The Last of Us at some point in the future, ultimately Druckmann didn’t mention anything firm at this time on active development for a sequel – it’s still purely in the planning stages at this point.
Druckmann continued in the interview regarding the previously-mentioned prototypes of The Last of Us 2 that “there’s a part of me that’s really looking forward to going back to those things, but I have no cycles left in my mind even to be thinking about that right now!”
Ultimately though, Druckmann concluded that “I guess he (North) was kind of right in that we were working on stuff, but we don’t know what we’re doing next and we won’t know until probably a few months after we finish Uncharted 4.”
The Last of Us is currently available on PS3 and on PS4 as The Last of Us Remastered. Currently, Naughty Dog is in development on Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which will release for PS4 on March 18th, 2016.