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Naughty Dog: ‘We wanted to address multiplayer in The Last of Us Part II’

The Last of Us Part II developer confirms reports that multiplayer has no place in the game.

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multiplayer in The Last of Us Part II

The Last of Us Part II developer confirms reports that multiplayer has no place in the game.

As reported last year, Naughty Dog revealed, in multiple interviews, that The Last of Us Part II would include multiplayer. “Multiplayer is coming back,” said co-director Anthony Newman. “We’re not going to talk details yet about what form that takes, but we can confirm there will be multiplayer.”

Now, with new information coming to light, it would appear that Newman spoke too soon about multiplayer in The Last of Us Part II.

First reported by USGamer, they learned in an interview with lead game designer Emilia Schatz, that multiplayer was out.

“We’re focusing on a single-player experience, so we’re just making a single-player game for this,” Schatz said. USGamer reports that Sony confirmed this by email later.

Since then, Naughty Dog has issued an official statement on Twitter, to confirm (and elucidate) the decision to remove multiplayer from The Last of Us Part II:

“We wanted to address the multiplayer in The Last of Us Part II. As we’ve stated, the singleplayer campaign is far and away the most ambitious project Naughty Dog has ever undertaken. Likewise, as development began on the evolution of our Factions mode from The Last of Us Part I, the vision of the team grew beyond an additional mode that could be included with our enormous singleplayer campaign. Wanting to support both visions, we made the difficult choice that The Last of Us Part II would not include an online mode.”

That seems fair enough. Often, players (and reviewers) complain that multiplayer modes feel tacked on to big, singleplayer experiences. That we wouldn’t have missed it, had it not been included. But Factions is actually one of the better completely unnecessary multiplayer tack-ons. It has its fans. And some of them are quite upset that a new version of the multiplayer mode won’t be in The Last of Us Part II.

The statement continues:

“However, you will eventually experience the fruits of our team’s online ambition, but not as part of The Last of Us Part II. When and where it will be realized is still to be determined. But rest assured, we are as big a fan of Factions as the rest of our community and are excited to share more when it’s ready.”

So what you’re saying is there’s a chance? We won’t be seeing multiplayer as part of the original The Last of Us Part II package, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come later. Whether that’s as an update, an expandalone, or even as a completely new, standalone multiplayer experience? We have no idea.

But it looks like factions isn’t completely off the table. It’s just off the cards for the release of The Last of Us Part II in February 2020.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.