It’s looking likelier and likelier that we may never see Naughty Dog’s standalone The Last of Us multiplayer- or at least not in the form that the studio had hoped it’d be able to release it. Earlier this year, it was reported that the project’s development team had been scaled back after an internal re-evaluation by Sony, with guidance by Bungie reportedly pointing to issues with the game’s live service approach, and by this point, it seems to be almost completely dead in the water.
In a recently published report, Kotaku has stated that Naughty Dog is laying off “at least” 25 contract employees by the end of the month, joining a growing list of game developers that have been hit with layoffs in recent days. Alongside that, the report has also stated that though the multiplayer Last of Us game hasn’t been “completely cancelled”, currently, it’s effectively “on ice”- so things are definitely not looking good for the project.
Whether that means if Naughty Dog and Sony will eventually return to the game and try and bring it back in a different way remains to be seen, but at the very least, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that we’re unlikely to ever see the project that Naughty Dog may have originally envisioned- which, according to the developer, was going to be its most ambitious game yet.