The Last Of Us Part 2 is easily one of the most exciting and anticipated releases of the last few years. Since being announced back in 2016, the hype for Naughty Dog’s second outing for Joel and Ellie has only grown – and it looks like development is finally winding down.
While we still don’t know for sure when The Last Of Us Part 2 is set to release, we do know that filming on the mocap scenes wrapped last month, and that a leak on the PlayStation Store seemed to imply the game would release in October 2019.
Lot of awesome positions open to help us close out this game… I especially want to highlight the Melee Animator position, I guarantee you will be working on some *dope* animations working with my good friend @Leethul 🗡️💀 pic.twitter.com/vmlVkJlfTl
— Anthony Newman (@BadData_) May 10, 2019
By all accounts then, it sounded as if work on the game was coming to an end, and that it’ll very likely release before the end of the year. After all, it’s unlikely Sony would want the relatively average Days Gone to be its only AAA exclusive release of the year.
Now, a tweet from The Last Of Us Part 2’s Co-Director Anthony Newman has revealed that Naughty Dog is looking to hire a large team of animators, game designers, and programmers to “close out” work on the game.
While this suggests The Last Of Us Part 2 has entered the final phase of development and could still be on track for the rumoured October 2019 launch, we can’t say with any certainty exactly how long it’ll take to close out development on a project of this size – finishing up work on a game like this could take months, pushing the game back to 2020.
We can’t say for sure, obviously, but the hiring and training process alone is bound to take at least a couple of months – but if Naughty Dog do have a deadline in place, perhaps it’ll approaching this process with some urgency.
We have to remember that 2013’s The Last Of Us went on to become one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time, and the pressure on Naughty Dog to deliver a suitable follow up must be absolutely immense.
With that in mind, it makes sense that the team would be looking to take as much time as it needs, to the point that a 2019 release date might actually be optimistic at this point.
Of course, based on what little we’ve actually seen of The Last of Us Part 2 so far, I do have to say that it looks like a stunning, brutal, and affecting game. I just wish Naughty Dog would show us more. Hopefully we’ll get an update soon.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.