Naughty Dog is changing the name of its annual celebration of all things The Last of Us, but it still has plenty planned to mark the date.
The event coming up on Saturday will officially be referred to as The Last of Us Day, rather than Outbreak Day. It's still set on the anniversary of the fictional cordyceps outbreak that turned the world into a fungal zombie apocalypse (September 26, 2013), but Naughty Dog figured it would be best to change the name going forward in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Naughty Dog announced the news in a tweet, the text of which I've transcribed below.
#TheLastofUsDay pic.twitter.com/dEycyibZw4September 22, 2020
"For the last 7 years, September 26 has been our opportunity to recognize and celebrate the incredible passion of The Last of Us community. However, as we thought about the events of the last year and the challenges we all continue to face with COVID-19, we didn't feel right continuing on under the 'Outbreak Day' banner. While the name and date are rooted in the fiction of the game, September 26 means so much more than lore. It's about showing our appreciation for our fans.
That's why, this Saturday and moving forward, September 26 will be known as The Last of Us Day - a name that not only acknowledges the world around us, but also reflects the growth of the community as we welcome millions of new players with the release of The Last of Us Part 2. We have a lot of exciting things planned and we can't wait to share them with you in just a few days!"
For Outbreak Day 2019, Naughty Dog and Sony put out a bunch of new The Last of Us 2 merch, a free PS4 theme, a cosplay guide, and did some contests, among other celebrations. It also marked the date when previewers were able to share their most extensive The Last of Us 2 impressions yet, including us. Things will naturally be a bit different now that The Last of Us 2 is out, but that should give you some idea of what to expect.
Maybe if we're lucky we'll finally hear more about that standalone Factions multiplayer game.