The Last Of Us Franchise Is Likely Staying Dormant For A While

Aside from the HBO Original, the video games will likely stay dormant for a while.

Story Highlights

  • Since the release of The Last of Us Part 2, Naughty Dog has released a remake of the first game, which nobody exactly requested, as the first two releases were good enough.
  • The recent layoffs at Naughty Dog have also put other ongoing projects in a dire position; Factions is considered to be dead, while The Last of Us Part 3 is nothing more than a faint rumor.
  • Now, with The Last of Us Part 2: Remastered potentially being leaked, it seems like the video game series will stay dormant for the most part due to no new story content.

The Last of Us is one of the most popular action-adventure video game franchises that has only recently expanded into a much bigger IP thanks to the HBO Original. It was created by Naughty Dog, which Sony Interactive Entertainment owns; as such, it has remained exclusive to the PlayStation consoles. Although the game still has an unparalleled charm, the series has become stale in terms of new content.

This doesn’t exactly mean that the games are no longer popular, but considering the future of the series, it seems as though the video game side might be nearing its end. Looking back at 2013’s The Last of Us, it still holds itself as one of the best games despite being in a much older generation. It was remastered a year later on PlayStation 4 and even received a remake in 2022. 

The Last of Us Part 2 was released in 2020, and it is safe to say that the title re-ignited fans’ love for the series as there was over half a decade of wait between it and 2014’s remaster. The franchise managed to stay relevant for a few more years thanks to the PlayStation 5 remake and the most recent HBO Original. But aside from the TV series, playing the remake was still experiencing the same thing, but in better graphics.

The Last of Us Part PC Port
TLOU Part 1 PC Port was a Disaster.

The Last Of Us Part 1 Was Unnecessary

For Clarification, The Last of Us Part 1 refers to the remake, as it is the official name, while the original is called The Last of Us. I believe the remake was unnecessary, and no, it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t stand out too much from the other versions, except for its better graphics. We need to understand that not every game needs to be remade, especially one that has already been remastered to a somewhat newer console.

Both the original version and the remaster were great games, and The Last of Us Part 2 had already compelled many fans to try out the remaster, as the game came before the 2022 remake. It should also be noted that this was a massive project in itself as the developers redesigned the whole video game while retaining its original concept, unlike a remaster, where there’s mostly improvement in visuals without going too deep.

YouTube video

So, the remake was made on the same engine as Part 2 to offer players a more seamless experience. It was a good play and even gave me an excuse to try out the game again. But if I were given the option to have the remake or potentially wholly new content in the series, I’d prefer the latter, and I believe many others would as well.

The situation may have been different if the remake came before The Last of Us Part 2, as it would have incentivized fans to try out that out instead of other versions. However, that’s not the case, which is why the remake doesn’t precisely provide much value despite how good it is. And no, we aren’t going to discuss the PC port, as it doesn’t define the franchise even a little bit.

Nothing Significant Has Happened Since The Last Of Us Part 2

The Last of Us Part 2 was one of the big turning points for the series; it received “universal acclaim” from the critics and did everything well, aside from some of the controversial parts, which I won’t delve into spoilers. Much of its praise was for the story being so damn good. The universe of The Last of Us is compelling and so well-crafted that it might just be one of my top 5 video game universes.

To experience the game in its best form, countless gamers paid a visit to the remaster, which is only available on PlayStation 4. After going through both games, fans were left with many questions, some of which went along the lines of, “What’s next in the franchise?” That question was more so in terms of the story, like an expansion like Left Behind for the original game or perhaps The Last of Us Part 3.

Both sounded great, but even now, after 3 years, we don’t know when or If we will see them. Naughty Dog recently had some layoffs, and there have been several rumors from credible people saying that The Last of Us Factions, the multiplayer game, is apparently either in a very dire situation or, much worse, dead. As for Part 3, it has never been confirmed, and the only thing we have is a feeble tease from the director.

The Layoffs Have Dealt A Massive Blow

Due to layoffs, 2023 has been one of the worst years for video game developers. One single mistake, and you might see yourself at the short end of the stick. Unfortunately, developers at Naughty Dog also fell victim to these layoffs. And even though it was only 25 employees, which, although a lot, is not much compared to the overall employee count of well over 800.

Still, the bigger concern for many was that this layoff meant bad for the future of the series, specifically the multiplayer game Factions. It was reported to be “on ice” but not ultimately canceled. However, industry insider ViewerAnon soon commented on this, saying it was dead. While it doesn’t tell us about The Last of Us Part 3, it is still pretty bad, considering how much everyone looked forward to it.

In the end, we can only hope that these are rumors and the game is still going strong in development. While it may be in a dire situation, as long as we do get the game eventually, there is hope for even more potential content in the franchise. But no matter the scenario, it will take longer than before, and even if the game has been released, will it bring back casual players who prefer the story?

Rumors Of The Last Of Us Part 2: Remastered

Well, since you love the story of Part 2, why don’t we give you a remastered version of the game?” It appears that Naughty Dog might be thinking like that. Recent findings suggest that the studio might also be working on The Last of Us Part 2: Remastered. The finding comes via the LinkedIn profile of a Naughty Dog developer (thanks, Angie), who accidentally left the game’s name on his portfolio.

The mention has since been removed, which is to be expected, but it has raised further questions: Is there even a Part 3? Sure, some may think it could also be in development, but realistically, it wouldn’t make sense to simultaneously have three projects of the same IP in development. Not unless you have a big budget, and considering the recent layoffs, it may not be the case.

Moreover, there were also some rumors regarding this, with people believing there is a Director’s Cut version of Part 2 in development. But that appears unlikely now, with the recent findings suggesting the game would be called The Last of Us Part 2: Remastered, as implied by the employee’s profile. So, all hopes for additional cut content in the critically acclaimed title have been dispelled, and this will likely have minimal changes.

Another interesting thing to note comes from Neil Druckmann’s interview with Buzzfeed, where he implied that they could work on a new title in the series if they have a compelling story for it, but if they can’t come up with something, then The Last of Us Part 2 might be the end.

Likewise, with The Last of Us, it’s up to us whether we want to continue it or not. Our process is the same thing we did when we did Part 2, which is if we can come up with a compelling story that has this universal message and statement about love—just like the first and second game did—then we will tell that story. If we can’t come up with something, we have a very strong ending with Part 2, and that will be the end,” says Neil Druckmann.

The HBO Original Has Been The Only Good Thing Ever Since

As someone who profoundly loves The Last of Us, the HBO Original series sets itself as one of, if not the best thing that has ever happened in the franchise. For a while now, the rumors for potential games have only grown more substantial, but there has scarcely been evidence that it would give new content other than remakes or remasters, and the only thing that did [Factions] appears to be in bad shape.

The TV Series was perfect for not only those who have played the game but also non-gamers, as it became a gateway for them to get into video games. It is faithful to the original source material, but whenever it deviates, it does so in the most perfect manner. Fortunately, the TV Series did incredibly well, and we are expecting the release of Season 2 sometime in the future.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, The Last of Us video game franchise might be nearing its end soon, or may at least become dormant for a while, similar to the period between the 2014 remaster and Part 2. While the HBO Original will keep me occupied, I don’t think I’ll pick up my console to play the story myself. As much as I love video games, replaying the same story with just tweaks in graphics and engine doesn’t seem worth it.

The recent situation has also raised many concerns about the status of the titles currently in development, as there is a possibility that even titles like Factions and The Last of Us Part 2: remastered will get axed. So, even while I wait for some confirmation or a potential announcement on the state of these titles, I don’t think my hopes will be high for the franchise.

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Mudassir is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the stories behind our favorite virtual worlds. Armed with a trusty notepad and a keen curiosity, he dives headfirst into the gaming industry's most exciting personalities. His knack for insightful questions and his ability to connect with developers and gamers alike makes his interviews a must-read. While on the lookout for the next person to interview, Mudassir keeps himself busy by writing news surrounding the gaming universe. Experience: 4+ Years || Senior Journalist || Education: Bachelor's in Psychology.

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