Naughty Dog has responded to some of the feedback about their decision not to include multiplayer in The Last of Us 2 (opens in new tab). The statement can be read in full below:
An update regarding multiplayer: pic.twitter.com/CUd98LgJGCSeptember 27, 2019
The Last of Us 2 multiplayer mode isn't happening, despite what Naughty Dog developers told press at E3 2018 (opens in new tab). While people usually think of the emotionally charged single-player campaign of zombie (and human) survival when they talk about The Last of Us, the multiplayer Factions mode also had a unique approach that lent it some surprising longevity (opens in new tab) among dedicated players - but it won't be coming back this time.
"We're focusing on a single-player experience, so we're just making a single-player game for this," lead game designer Emilia Schatz told USgamer in an interview. A Sony representative confirmed that it is solely a single-player game when the outlet followed up.
Naughty Dog had not previously made any official announcements about The Last of Us 2 multiplayer. However, these statements do contradict what a pair of co-directors from the studio said - one stating outright that Factions would return, and another saying they could not confirm details but that "there will be multiplayer" in the game.
It sounds like Naughty Dog was at one point working on a multiplayer component for The Last of Us 2, and that the developers probably weren't supposed to discuss it when they did. But some time between E3 2018 and now, the studio elected to focus solely on creating a single-player campaign. We never would have heard about the multiplayer mode if not for that interview slip-up, so Naughty Dog and Sony never directly addressed its cancelation.
It's disappointing that Factions won't return, but a recent Naughty Dog job listing (opens in new tab) for a multiplayer gameplay programmer proves that the studio is planning to return to online action further down the line. If I had to choose between "gripping single player" Naughty Dog and "surprisingly good multiplayer" Naughty Dog, I'd hesitantly pick the former. But as the girl in that taco shell commercial says, "Why not both?"
Find something to play while you wait with our list of the best PS4 games (opens in new tab).