The Last of Us Part II on PlayStation 4 left things in a very interesting place, and fans will be happy to know that the outline for a new game in the series has been written. In an appearance on the Script Apart podcast, Neil Druckmann revealed that he and Halley Gross have now put together an outline for a follow-up. It's important to note that this should not be seen as confirmation that a third game is happening, but it does confirm that Naughty Dog is starting to look at a possible future beyond the most recent game in the series.
"I don’t know how much I want to reveal," Druckmann said on the podcast. "Halley Gross and I did write an outline for a story, that we're not making, but I hope one day can see the light of day – that explores a little bit what happens after this game. We’ll see."
This does offer a bit of hope that The Last of Us Part III could eventually release on PlayStation 5. Last year, Druckmann said another game would be "harder to justify," so it seems that his stance has evolved a bit over time. At the end of The Last of Us Part II, Joel is dead and Ellie is in a very dark place, so it would be interesting to see where the story picks up from there. Unfortunately, Naughty Dog has not yet decided what its next project will be.
"After we finish one of our big titles, we take a long time to explore different ideas, whether it’s going to be The Last of Us 3, whether it's something new, whether there's some old franchise we want to go back to. I like to fully explore all of those, then look at, like: okay, we have all of these ideas in front of us. As a studio, what do we want to commit to? Because it’s a huge commitment, monetary, time, passion, talent, so you think about all the opportunity costs that come with that."
Video game development is a costly process, and it's quite time-consuming. Given the years that went into The Last of Us Part II, it's not surprising that Druckmann and the rest of the team might not be eager to commit to something new just yet. Regardless of whether this new material appears in a new game, or perhaps in a later season of the HBO show, it seems that Druckmann and Gross are still planning out Ellie's future.
The Last of Us Part II is available now on PlayStation 4.
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