Naughty Dog cancels Last of Us live service game, will remain focused on singleplayer games

Naughty Dog chooses singleplayer over online-driven live games, cancels its Last of Us Online project so it can exclusively focus on singleplayer titles.

Published
Updated
3 minutes & 36 seconds read time

Naughty Dog has ceased development on its Last of Us live service game, which had been in pre-production since The Last of Us II.

Naughty Dog cancels Last of Us live service game, will remain focused on singleplayer games 1

Sony's live service push isn't going according to plan. Inspired by billion-dollar GaaS titles like Fortnite, Warzone, Apex Legends, and even Minecraft, Sony's games division laid out an ambitious strategy to release 12 live service games by FY25 (April 2025 - March 2026). This ambition has been considerably scaled down due to the current landscape of the games market, which has triggered thousands of layoffs to counter rising costs.

In a Q2 earnings brief, Sony announced that it had reduced its FY25 live service slate from 12 to 6 games, citing that the other titles would be delayed. Rising costs has triggered layoffs at Bungie, who Sony acquired in 2022 for $3.6 billion to help lead its live service charge. Sony is currently relying on Bungie to help vet its live service games with a "rigorous review process." Naughty Dog's Last of Us GaaS title didn't exactly pass Bungie's live service litmus test and the project had been delayed as a result.

Naughty Dog cancels Last of Us live service game, will remain focused on singleplayer games 99

Now Naughty Dog has outright cancelled the project. The reason? The Last of Us Online title simply required too much manpower to work on, release, and maintain over time. Naughty Dog would have had to effectively become a live service studio, treading somewhat uncharted territory outside of additional online modes in its games.

Naughty Dog isn't ready to go all-in on live games, so it cancelled The Last of Us Online in order to maintain its focus on marquee, system-selling singleplayer games.

"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."

In the announcement post, the production studio says that it is working on "more than one" singleplayer game. This confirms that three projects were in development all along, matching up with our predictions.

Check below for the full post from Naughty Dog:

We realize many of you have been anticipating news around the project that we've been calling The Last of Us Online. There's no easy way to say this: We've made the incredibly difficult decision to stop development on that game.

We know this news will be tough for many, especially our dedicated The Last of Us Factions community, who have been following our multiplayer ambitions ardently. We're equally crushed at the studio as we were looking forward to putting it in your hands. We wanted to share with you some background of how we came to this decision.

The multiplayer team has been in pre-production with this game since we were working on The Last of Us Part II - crafting an experience we felt was unique and had tremendous potential. As the multiplayer team iterated on their concept for The Last of Us Online during this time, their vision crystalized, the gameplay got more refined and satisfying, and we were enthusiastic about the direction in which we were headed.

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.

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.

Until then, we're incredibly thankful to our community for your support throughout the years.

Buy at Amazon

MARVEL'S SPIDER-MAN 2 - PS5 Launch Edition

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$69.99$53.08$69.99
-
---
* Prices last scanned on 4/12/2024 at 6:09 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.
NEWS SOURCE:naughtydog.com

Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

Newsletter Subscription

Related Tags