The Last of Us director Neil Druckmann reckons there's "more story to tell" in the video game universe, but still won't confirm whether or not another sequel is in the works.
In an interview with Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), Druckmann got onto the topic of a potential sequel to 2020's GOTY, The Last of Us 2. And while he, unsurprisingly, didn't reveal anything new, he definitely left the door wide open.
With regards to a potential The Last of Us 3, Druckmann simply said: "I think there's more story to tell."
Before we go any further, here's a quick spoiler warning for the first two Last of Us games. If we're going to recklessly speculate about what a sequel to The Last of Us 2 might look like, we need to quickly recap the events of the existing games, so turn back now if you haven't played them all the way through.
The Last of Us 2 ends following a brutal fight between main protagonist Ellie and Abby, who killed Joel in cold blood to avenge her father's own murder at the end of the first game. Despite having Abby firmly in her clutches, Ellie ultimately finds a merciful wrinkle in her ruthless determination for revenge and lets Abby flea the scene with Lev by boat. We then see Ellie return to her Wyoming farmstead only to learn that her romantic partner, Dina, had long since left and taken her and Jesse's infant child (and Ellie's adoptive son) JJ with her. It's assumed that Dina felt betrayed by Ellie prioritizing her revenge on Abby over their new family.
The final scene shows Ellie setting down Joel's guitar and venturing off into the wilderness once more, but it's unclear where she's headed. Did she ultimately decide that, 'dammit, I think I have to kill Abby afterall'? Probably not, I think it's safe to say she'd rather never see her nemesis again, and same probably goes for Abby. I think the more likely scenario is that she's off to find Dina and JJ, and if that's the case, it just wouldn't be a Naughty Dog story if she didn't run into some serious trouble along the way.
Back in 2021, Druckmann commented that The Last of Us 3 already had a plot outline but wasn't in development. It's unclear if that's changed, but it definitely sounds like another sequel has been on the director's mind for some time.
The Last of Us 3 probably won't make our list of new games of 2023, but there are plenty more games to be excited about this year.