With HBO’s The Last of Us finale drawing a series high of 8.2 million viewers and catapulting the franchise to greater heights of popularity, now might be the perfect time for Naughty Dog to announce a third game in the series, but it appears that things at the studio will remain a closely guarded secret for now. Speaking in a new episode of the Kinda Funny spoilercast, Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann mentioned that while he is fully aware of how badly fans want The Last of Us Part III, all he can say at the moment is that Naughty Dog is working on a new game, one that may or may not be post-apocalyptic in nature but was apparently exciting enough for the developer to prioritize over all of its other projects. While fans have been left to speculate whether a new adventure with Ellie is happening, the franchise is set to expand in any case, as Druckmann later confirmed that Naughty Dog would be sharing more about its full-scale, standalone game set in the world of The Last of Us later this year. Fans of HBO’s adaptation can also look forward to multiple new seasons, according to GQ’s interview with Druckmann and Craig Mazin.
From a Kinda Funny spoilercast transcript:
I am very lucky that I joined a studio that was already so successful that we could be kind of prima donnas and just do whatever we want. I know not everybody has that privilege, but it’s not something I take lightly. So it’s like at the end of every project, we purposefully explore several different projects.
Some of them might be a sequel, and then a bunch of new ideas. And then we really feel like where do our passions lie, because that’s the fire that has to sustain for years to come. And if you pick the wrong projects, and then you burn out from that idea because you weren’t that passionate about it two years into it, on a four year project, you’re fucked.
So, I know the fans really want The Last of Us Part III. I hear about it all the time. And all I could say is that, look, we’re already into our next project. So the decision has already been made. I can’t say what it is, but that’s the process we went through that there was a lot of consideration of different things and we picked the thing we were most excited for.
The Last of Us multiplayer game is our next big title, and you will hear much more about it later this year, and I’m stoked for it. It’s an interesting experience for me personally because this is the first Last of Us game that I’m not the primary writer, I’m not the director.
So I get to see it more from the side and play more of a producer role and more of a mentor role. And that to me is really exciting. What the team has put together is so cool, and again, it’s very different than what I would do because it’s made by different people. But that to me is part of the excitement, to get to see other people play in this world in a leadership role and see how it comes together.