Naughty Dog Renames The Last of Us-Themed “Outbreak Day” in Light of COVID-19

Naughty Dog Renames The Last of Us-Themed “Outbreak Day” in Light of COVID-19

Given the situation revolving around COVID-19, Naughty Dog has renamed its long-running "Outbreak Day" event to "The Last of Us Day."

For the past seven years, September 26 has held a special distinction among The Last of Us community through Naughty Dog’s “Outbreak Day” celebrations. Signifying the date that the game’s (fictional) outbreak began, Naughty Dog has used the date as a way to celebrate The Last of Us community by highlighting fan creations and new merchandise based on the franchise. However, given the current circumstances that the world is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic, Naughty Dog has decided to make a slight change to its usual festivities.

In a statement on Twitter, Naughty Dog shared that as the studio “thought about the events of the last year and the challenges we all continue to face with COVID-19,” the company “didn’t feel right continuing on under the ‘Outbreak Day’ banner.” In light of the pandemic, Naughty Dog is officially changing the name of Outbreak Day to “The Last of Us Day” moving forward, while continuing to celebrate the game’s community and fans with this year’s event on Saturday, September 26.

While Naughty Dog hasn’t given official word on what to expect from this year’s fan celebration, the studio closed its message that it has “a lot of exciting things planned” and will be sharing more in the coming days on how it will celebrate TLOU Day 2020. In the past, the studio has released special TLOU-themed items such as PS4 themes, limited edition art and merch, and more, so stay tuned for what they’ll specifically offer for this year.

This year’s celebrations will likely focus heavily on The Last of Us Part II, which finally released this past June to critical acclaim and commercial success. While the long-awaited sequel saw some last minute delays due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, the title finally saw release on the PS4 as one of the system’s final first-party exclusives, followed shortly after by Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima. Naughty Dog has also hinted before that it seemingly is working on a new multiplayer experience set in the universe of TLOU, which (hopefully) will be a successor to the original game’s Factions mode.