As one of Sony’s biggest flagship properties – even bigger now thanks to the TV show – there’s no surprise that there’s always excitement surrounding what the future might hold for The Last of Us, and while Naughty Dog is currently working on a standalone multiplayer game that we’ll be hearing more about later this year, what many fans are wondering about is when, or if, the studio will make The Last of Us Part 3.
The question was posed to Naughty Dog co-president and The Last of Us director and writer Neil Druckmann in a recent interview with Kinda Funny, and his response was about as vague as you would expect it to be. Acknowledging the heavy demand for a sequel, Druckmann reiterated that Naughty Dog’s next single player game has already entered production, and the decision of what the project would be was made based on which idea the studio was most passionate about, rather than what fans’ expectations demanded.
“At the end of every project, we purposefully explore several different [new] projects,” Druckmann said. “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 project, 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 f***ed. That’s how you make mediocre… anything- if you lose your excitement for it.
“I know the fans really want The Last of Us Part 3,” he continued. “I hear about it all the time. All I can say is that we’re already into our next project. 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.”
While that doesn’t necessarily indicate one way or another whether Naughty Dog’s next single player game is The Last of Us Part 3, there have been signs pointing to that over the last several months. Druckmann has said in the past that Part 3 could be the game the studio makes next, and has said on a number of occasions that that he feels the series still has stories left to tell, having also confirmed in 2021 that a story outline for The Last of Us Part 3 was already in place.
Earlier this year, Druckmann also said that Naughty Dog was open to making The Last of Us Part 3 if it could find the right story to tell. Previous leaks have claimed that the sequel has already entered development, though shortly after those leaks emerged, Druckmann warned fans against trusting insider information, so take from that what you will.