The Last of Us Online Has Been Officially Cancelled

We’d known for a while now that Naughty Dog was working on a standalone multiplayer Last of Us game, but recent months have raised questions about what state the project is in behind-the-scenes. Reports have claimed that its development team has been scaled back, and that though it hadn’t been completely cancelled, it had been put “on ice”. And though the project’s director confirmed as recently as last month that it was still in the works, that is officially no longer the case.

Naughty Dog has announced that the multiplayer game, which it was internally referring to as The Last of Us Online, has been cancelled. Supposedly, the project’s vast scope and ambitions meant that all of Naughty Dog would have had to focus primarily on supporting the game with post-launch content for years to come, and the studio made the decision to instead continue to focus on the narrative-driven single player experiences it has become known for.

“The multiplayer team has been in pre-production with this game since we were working on The Last of Us Part 2 – crafting an experience we felt was unique and had tremendous potential,” Naughty Dog wrote. “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.

“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.

“We are immensely proud of everyone at the studio that touched this project. The learnings and investments in technology from this game will carry into how we develop our projects and will be invaluable in the direction we are headed as a studio.”

Interestingly, Naughty Dog has also confirmed that it has multiple major single player games currently in development.