What’s Next for Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us?

Among Sony’s first-party studios, Naughty Dog stands tall as one of the most respected, largely thanks to its catalog of franchises that have become iconic PlayStation IPs. This includes the Uncharted series, which emulates the globe-trotting adventures of tomb Raider, while occasionally throwing in some unexpected supernatural twists. It also includes The Last of Uswhich has managed to make an impact in the crowded zombie horror genre while presenting gripping narratives that have both moved and shocked gamers.

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With a new generation of gaming in full gear, all eyes are on Naughty Dog to see what the studio will do next with The Last of Us series. Although the studio tends to stay secretive, it appears as though it is hard at work on multiple projects that will be revealed to the world in greater detail in due time. Furthermore, as Naughty Dog expands into film and television, it is clear that The Last of Us‘future will not lie strictly within gaming.

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The Last of Us Remake

Released in 2013, The Last of Us is a PS3 game whose impact and influence is hard to overstate. On the surface, it appears to be quite a derivative zombie horror game, albeit with more impressive visuals than most other titles. However, the game’s focus on the bond between Joel and Ellie helps to set it apart, marking it as both a storytelling and technical masterpiece. As the two unlikely partners attempt to survive in a brutal world, gamers witness the extremes that love will take people to, forcing them to question their notions of right and wrong.


Due to the game’s commercial success and cultural impact, Naughty Dog has continued to focus its attention on The Last of Us and its depressing, yet endlessly intriguing world. Although it has yet to be officially confirmed by the studio, there have been plenty of credible reports that a The Last of Us remake is in the works. Industry insider Tom Henderson has claimed that the project is close to finished and could be released as early as the second half of 2022. The Last of Us previously received a remaster in 2014, but this is reportedly much more than that.

It may seem odd at first for Naughty Dog to set its sights on a The Last of Us remaster, but things make a bit more sense when one takes the upcoming The Last of Us television adaptation into account. The series, which is scheduled to hit screens in 2023, is a big-budget project on track to be one of the largest television productions in history. The release of a The Last of Us remaster around the same time as the series would be an effective way to drum up further interest in the franchise and provide a smooth entryway to the games for new fans drawn in by the television series.


The Last of Us Television Series

The television adaptation of The Last of Us will be streamed on HBO, and Naughty Dog and Sony Pictures Television are involved in the project. Writers include Craig Mazin, who has worked on the Chernobyl series, and Neil Druckmann, who is Naughty Dog’s co-president.

The main actors for the adaptation have been revealed, and the star-studded cast list is very promising: Game of Thrones‘s Bella Ramsey is playing Ellie, and The Mandalorian‘s Pedro Pascal starring as Joel. Although the events of the game are set in the USA, filming for the series has been done in Canada; including locations such as Canmore which has been used to recreate Jackson, the location of Tommy’s community in the game.


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Interviews given regarding the upcoming television series have piqued the curiosity of a lot of The Last of Us fans. When talking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Mazin discussed how, while the series will remain faithful to the game, there will be some changes and deviations made, including events that were originally considered for the game but never made it in. Mazin is sure to highlight, however, that any The Last of Us adaptation changes being implemented are “designed to fill things out and expand, not to undo, but rather to enhance.”


The history of video game adaptations is not particularly impressive, and there have been far more duds than successes. However, things look a little different for The Last of Us, considering how much time, effort, and passion is being put into the project. Should it be a success, the series could redefine the way the public views video game narratives and video game adaptations.

The Last of Us 2 Multiplayer

The Last of Us‘sequel was released in 2020, and while the prior game focuses on love, The Last of Us 2 is centered on the extremes of hate. Like its predecessor, The Last of Us 2 has enjoyed both commercial and critical success, managing to nab the most The Game Award wins in the ceremony’s history. Since its release, the game has been upgraded for the PS5, allowing players to enjoy Ellie’s adventure at 60FPS.

Originally, the game was supposed to release alongside its multiplayer counterpart, which was also highly anticipated. However, as the scope of The Last of Us 2 grew, Naughty Dog decided to split the projects up and release The Last of Us 2‘s multiplayer mode separately. The Last of Us 2 is now almost two years old, and the multiplayer game has yet to be seen, leading many gamers to wonder whether it will ever see the light of day. Fortunately, Naughty Dog has not forgotten about the project, and it has assured gamers that it is still hard at work on it. Reduced The Last of Us 2 multiplayer leaks suggest that a battle royale mode may be part of the game.


With The Last of Us series, Naughty Dog struck gold. The ideas and imagery it draws from are not particularly original, but as a result of the studio’s creativity and obsession with perfection, The Last of Us has become a gaming cornerstone. It is clear that, like many gamers, Naughty Dog is not quite ready to end its time in The Last of Us’ universe, and whether it be in gaming or television, fans of the series can look forward to plenty more run-ins with the Infected.

The Last of Us is available now on PS3 and PS4.

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