According to journalist Jeff Grubb, The Last of Us’ long-awaited multiplayer game won’t serve as a continuation of Factions; instead, Naughty Dog has thrown its efforts behind live-service elements.
Initially slated to come packaged with The Last of Us Part II, a new version of the franchise’s multiplayer suite was delayed indefinitely ahead of the sequel’s release.
For more than two years, then, Naughty Dog has kept quiet about the online experience, with only job postings hinting at the mode’s shift to a standalone title.
Naughty God Co-President and series Co-Creator Neil Druckmann lifted the lid marginally during Summer Game Fest, telling audiences that TLoU’s multiplayer will return as a standalone adventure whose scope could eclipse the team’s single-player games.
Last of Us’ multiplayer game is now live-service-heavy
Druckmann made no mention of the Factions name when teasing TLoU’s online offering at Summer Game Fest. According to VentureBeat journalist Jeff Grubb, this was no mistake.
Speaking on Giant Bomb‘s Summer Game Fest stream, Grubb claimed the standalone Last of Us multiplayer game won’t come in the form of a Factions follow-up. “It’s going to be very, very live service-y. They’re building all the services in, so they can swap huge parts of it, in and out.”
Later in the Giant Bomb broadcast, the journalist said the reason for the delay, and the reason this no longer counts as a Factions experience, is because the developers wanted to build “specific technology so they could do a live-service game in a Naughty Dog way.”
As a result, the studio should have little to no trouble creating and adding new content without asking players to constantly download updates. “They’re going to make it very easy to keep it updated,” Grubb concluded.
Naughty Dog itself has yet to outline the specifics, so none of the above should be taken at face value. Fortunately, the studio plans to unveil more details sometime in 2023.