Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckman says the studio doesn't feel pressured to make The Last of Us Part III.
Co-president of Naughty Dog and The Last of Us creative director Neil Druckmann has recently discussed the future of the post-apocalyptic action-adventure series, saying that the studio has "moved on" from the Uncharted franchise and may do the same with The Last of Us, if it decides not to proceed with a third main installment.
Speaking to BuzzFeed, Druckmann shared that Naughty Dog is fortunate to have Sony as its owner and publisher since the company has never pressured the studio about the future of its titles and would never force it to create the continuation of Ellie and Abby's story.
"I know there's a bunch of people wondering about The Last of Us Part 3 and whether that will be a thing or not. All I could say is, at Naughty Dog we're very, very privileged that our publisher is Sony – which means Sony funds our games, supports us, and we're owned by Sony," he said. "They have supported us every step of the way to follow our passions – meaning that just because something is successful, people think there's all this pressure and we have to make a sequel. That's not the case."
"For us, Uncharted was insanely successful – Uncharted 4 was one of our best-selling games – and we're able to put our final brushstroke on that story and say that we're done. We're moving on," Druckmann said. "Likewise, with The Last of Us, it's up to us whether we want to continue it or not. "
Apparently, Naughty Dog has still not decided on The Last of Us Part III. In April 2021, Druckmann mentioned that a story outline had been written for a potential third installment in the series but that it was not currently in development.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Druckmann hinted that Naughty Dog may have plans for a third entry in the series, stating that "there's more story to tell" which made some believe that the studio might be working on the continuation of Ellie's story, although the studio head didn't confirm it outright.
What we know for sure is that Naughty Dog is currently preparing to release a multiplayer spin-off, which will have its own story. Earlier in January, Druckmann said that the studio will share news about this multiplayer project later this year and that it will be "a fresh, new experience from our studio, but one rooted in Naughty Dog’s passion for delivering incredible stories, characters, and gameplay."
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