July 19, 2024


The Intersection of Information and Insight

The Last Of Us Multiplayer Game Canceled, Naughty Dog Will Focus On Single-Player Games

2 min read

The Last of Us multiplayer project, which Naughty Dog says it had been calling The Last of Us Online internally, has been canceled. The studio revealed the news in a blog post, citing the game’s ambitions as being so big that it would require the full attention of the studio, thereby taking any part of the team off of narrative-driven single-player games, the likes of which have been Naughty Dog’s M.O. to this point.

“In ramping up to full production, the massive scope of our ambition became clear,” the statement reads in part. “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.”

The fate of The Last of Us Online has seemed in doubt for some time now. Earlier this year, it was reported by Bloomberg that development on the project had slowed down, with many of its developers moving to other projects within the studio. Naughty Dog responded to that report in a statement online, saying it was “proud” of the work that had been done so far and confirmed the development of a new single-player game, too.

In October, we learned that Naughty Dog had laid off roughly two dozen contractors according to a Kotaku report. That same report said that The Last of Us multiplayer project was “basically on ice at this point.” The game was once envisioned as one of several forthcoming multiplayer games from Sony, as the normally story-driven publisher seeks to compete in the busy live-service space. But just weeks ago, we learned that Sony had already greatly reduced its expected output in that arena, with the company cutting in half its number of in-development live-service games planned to debut in March 2026 or sooner.

It’s unclear exactly which other games have been pushed out of that window or canceled outright, and it’s quite likely some of them were never announced in the first place.

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