Sony Significantly Scales Back Development of The Last of Us Multiplayer for PS5, Says Report

Update: Well, well, well. Naughty Dog’s statement came as a bit of a surprise earlier this evening, but it seems like it was pre-empting a report from Bloomberg effectively suggesting the project is in the pits. Extremely reliable reporter Jason Schreier cites four sources familiar with the release, and claims Sony has “slowed down development” on the title “as the creators reassess its quality and long-term viability”.

Schreier goes on to report that the project was scaled back during a recent evaluation, which we know also resulted in the closure of PixelOpus and the likely cancellation of Deviation Games’ first title. “A small group remains on the project while the company re-evaluates the direction,” continues Schreier’s report. “While the game hasn’t been cancelled, many of its developers have been moved to other projects.” That’d presumably include the company’s new single player title.

In the aftermath of the Bloomberg report, Giant Bomb’s Jeff Grubb has weighed in on the topic: “All I’ve heard about this game is that it looks a lot like a studio’s first live-service game, and that Naughty Dog wanted to do things its way, which maybe didn’t bode well for Factions.”

The Last of Us Factions was expected to be one of Sony’s flagship live service titles, a business model the Japanese giant is so obsessed with it purchased Bungie to help expedite its efforts. But according to Schreier, the Destiny developer wasn’t impressed with what Naughty Dog was making. “Bungie raised questions about the The Last of Us multiplayer project’s ability to keep players engaged for a long period of time, which led to the reassessment,” the Bloomberg article claims.

Original Article: Well, despite being officially announced almost four years ago, it looks like The Last of Us Factions, the standalone multiplayer game from Naughty Dog, still isn’t close to release. Many pondered why the title was absent at this week’s PS Showcase, especially after series creator Neil Druckmann had promised we’d learn a lot more about the project this year. But in a statement the studio said that while it’s “proud of the job our studio has done so far […] we’ve realised what is best for the game is to give it more time”. There’s no word on when or where we’ll learn more.

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