Tech

The Last of Us Online is no more as Naughty Dog pulls the plug

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Despite the worldwide acclaim of The Last of Us video game, plus the success of a recent television adaptation, developer studio Naughty Dog has pulled the plug on the live-service version of its IP, The Last of Us Online. The game has been in development for years and was originally slated to launch alongside The Last of Us 2 in 2020, but last year things started looking less promising that it would see the light of day when development was cut back and staff reassigned to other projects.

Now in a blog post Naughty Dog has confirmed expectations that we have heard the last of The Last of Us Online.

The post reads, “In ramping up to full production, the massive scope of our ambition became clear. To release and support The Last of Us Online we’d have to put all our studio resources behind supporting post-launch content for years to come, severely impacting development on future single-player games. So, we had two paths in front of us: become a solely live service games studio or continue to focus on single-player narrative games that have defined Naughty Dog’s heritage.”

The last of the Last of Us Online

It continues, “ We are immensely proud of everyone at the studio that touched this project. The learnings and investments in technology from this game will carry into how we develop our projects and will be invaluable in the direction we are headed as a studio. We have more than one ambitious, brand-new single-player game that we’re working on here at Naughty Dog, and we cannot wait to share more about what comes next when we’re ready.”

The live service MMO space has been a notoriously difficult stomping ground of late, and even if you exclude the carnage of the recent zombie survival game The Day Before’s launch, collapse, and closure, it is clearly a highly competitive, and emotive space to enter into

While gamers will have to continue to yearn for a post-zombie-apocalyptic live service game, Naughty Dog deciding to continue doing what they do best should not be seen as a bad thing if it brings games of the standard of the two Last of Us titles to the table in the future, the last of which was nominated at the recent Game Awards.

Featured Image: Naughty Dog

Paul McNally

Paul has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision. He spent over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title. Has written gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine, PlayStation Pro, Amiga Action, Mega Action, ST Action, GQ, Loaded, and the Daily Mirror. Former champion shoot ’em-up legend.

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