The Last of Us Online’s cancellation is the right move for Naughty Dog

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After a agelong play of soundlessness connected nan project, and galore reports of a beleaguered and troubled development, Naughty Dog has yet pulled nan plug connected its The Last of Us online multiplayer project. It was primitively planned arsenic an online mode paired pinch The Last of Us Part II, much for illustration Factions accompanied nan first game. But astatine immoderate point, nan scope and guidance of nan mode was changed and it was decided that it would beryllium a standalone title. Over 3 years later, pinch thing but conception creation shown from nan game, it has b4een officially scrapped.

While that whitethorn travel arsenic a disappointment to Naughty Dog fans looking guardant to its return connected a live-service crippled group successful The Last of Us universe, its cancellation is simply a necessity for nan company. It’s a difficult determination that will let nan workplace to proceed doing what it does champion alternatively than giving successful to what’s trendy.

Cutting losses

Naughty Dog’s charismatic statement connected why it decided to halt accumulation connected this task paints a very clear picture: nan workplace wanted to put nan aforesaid magnitude of time, care, and ambition into each constituent of The Last of Us Online as it would a single-player title. After evolving into a afloat live-service effort, upholding that level of value would person go nan studio’s sole focus. Seeing nan roadworthy it was astir to embark on, Naughty Dog had to take betwixt becoming a workplace that only made The Last of Us Online, aliases 1 that could proceed to create single-player experiences that person helped specify PlayStation’s modern image. It was some a difficult determination and an evident choice.

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PlayStation will person nary shortage of live-service titles successful nan future. If reports are to beryllium believed, 12 are presently successful nan useful (though that number whitethorn now beryllium 11), pinch half predicted to beryllium released by nan extremity of 2025. Naughty Dog has experimented pinch successful multiplayer offerings since Uncharted 2, but ne'er thing successful nan realm of unrecorded service. While location was surely a grade of excitement from fans to spot really a workplace pinch specified beardown communicative and presentational skills would tackle this genre, location was nary existent grounds to spell connected that it would beryllium a winning formula. If anything, reports suggested nan opposite. Years of delays, reworks, and a antagonistic adjacent reappraisal by Bungie each constituent toward a task successful immoderate shape of trouble. Most damning of all, however, was nan silence. Besides immoderate stray conception art, virtually thing astir nan crippled was revealed.

The 2nd portion of The Last of Us multiplayer conception creation shows 2 players stepping toward a beached yacht.Concept creation for Naughty Dog’s Last of Us multiplayer title. Naughty Dog

Naughty Dog already laid nan groundwork for this news months agone erstwhile it revealed that, while it was still moving connected The Last of Us Online, it besides had a single-player crippled entering development. Whether aliases not nan determination was made past aliases later to afloat trim its losses connected nan crippled is unknown, but that was a clear awesome to fans that it wasn’t going to wantonness its roots. The announcement of The Last of Us Online‘s cancellation concludes pinch nan connection that nan workplace now has “more than 1 ambitious, brand-new single-player crippled that we’re moving on,” further assuring fans that nan Naughty Dog they emotion pinch is coming back.

Three-plus years spent connected a task that ne'er sees nan ray of time is not thing galore studios could endure. The ones who will suffer nan astir are nan developers who spent truthful galore years pouring their passion and efforts into nan game, only for it to vanish and to person thing to show for their activity — and it’s moreover worse for those who were laid off. That should ne'er beryllium a value a workplace has to salary for realizing it was going successful a guidance it wasn’t prepared for. No disappointment complete a canceled crippled should travel astatine nan disbursal of quality empathy.

We don’t cognize what’s adjacent for Naughty Dog too a return to single-player titles, but that’s not bad news. If anything, it’s amended than knowing that nan only point we tin expect from 1 of gaming’s astir captious studios for half a decade aliases much is simply a microtransaction-filled multiplayer shooter.

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Jesse Lennox

Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining astir not having clip to constitute and play games. He knows nan names of more…

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