Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part 2 was released almost a year ago and is still hotly discussed for its story and ending. Obviously, fans have wondered when Part 3 could be expected. Though it currently isn’t in development, creative director Neil Druckmann noted on the Script Apart podcast (transcription via IGN) he and co-writer Halley Gross do have a story outline for the same.
“I don’t know how much I want to reveal… [co-writer Halley Gross] and I did write an outline for a story, that we’re not making – but I hope one day can see the light of day – that explores a little bit what happens after this game. We’ll see.” Internally, there’s been “quite a bit” of discussion about The Last of Us Part 3. In the end though, it comes down to how much work is required.
“These games take so much to make. [Part 2], I’ve been thinking about it for seven years, between when the last game came out and when this came out […] You want to make sure you’re jazzed by the idea that you have, [that] it feels like it’s challenging. We’ve now had two games that I feel speak to something universal as well as telling a very personal story for these characters. With one game, there’s no pattern of what a franchise is. With two games, now there’s starting to be a pattern – now I feel like there are some structural and thematic themes you’d have to stick to if you’re making a third game.”
As for what’s coming next, Druckmann said, “After we finish one of our big titles, we take a long time to explore different ideas, whether it’s going to be Last of Us 3, whether it’s something new, whether there’s some old franchise we want to go back to. I like to fully explore all of those, then look at, like: okay, we have all of these ideas in front of us. As a studio, what do we want to commit to? Because it’s a huge commitment – monetary, time, passion, talent, so you think about all the opportunity costs that come with that.”
Studio president Evan Wells indicated that some of Naughty Dog’s projects are in pre-production while one major project demands the lion’s share of attention. The studio’s inability to pursue multi-project development is apparently the reason why The Last of Us Remake was greenlit as well, though the developer is also working on a multiplayer project (which may be Factions mode for The Last of Us Part 2). As for The Last of Us Part 3, it’s going to be a long wait so stay tuned.