A rather notable omission from this week’s PlayStation Showcase was anything from Naughty Dog.
The company has been all about “The Last of Us” property of late – getting “The Last of Us Part II” out on PS4 in 2020, tweaking it for PS5 in 2021, getting a PS5 remake of “The Last of Us Part I” out late last year and the same remake ported to PC earlier this year.
The company’s Neil Druckmann has also been at work for the last two years on HBO’s “The Last of Us” TV show and was prepping work for the second season up until the strike happened.
In between all that, they’ve been hard at work on an untitled work that’s been widely dubbed “Factions,” a multiplayer title set within “The Last of Us” universe and of which we’ve only seen some concept art.
The hope was we’d get a first glimpse at “Factions” during Sony’s PlayStation Showcase this week. When it was a no-show, it raised some obvious questions.
Then, in a statement posted on Twitter earlier today, Naughty Dog says they’re “incredibly proud” of the job done thus far, but “as development has continued, we’ve realized what is best for the game is to give it more time.”
The company, which had been riding high after the success of the HBO series, is coming off a bit of a public relations roasting over the problematic PC port for “The Last of Us Part 1” (its prior “Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection” port also had some minor issues).
Then, shortly after that tweet, Bloomberg published a report citing at least four unnamed sources claiming the studio is reconsidering the long-term viability of the multiplayer project.
Whilst not cancelled, they allege they’re scaling back development with much of the staff working on it having been reassigned to other projects – leaving only a “small group” remaining.
It adds that Sony also is using another of its studios, “Destiny” and original “Halo” developer Bungie, to evaluate its various multiplayer and ‘games as a service’ titles across its portfolio – including the work Naughty Dog had done on its multiplayer game.
Bungie reportedly said it had doubts that “Factions” could keep players engaged over a long period of time – leading to this reassessment. Naughty Dog does say it has other games in development, “including a brand new single-player experience”.
Naughty Dog has been developing the multiplayer title for at least four years. As of December, “The Last of Us” games have sold more than 37 million units, according to Sony.
Source : https://www.darkhorizons.com/last-of-us-multiplayer-being-reassessed/