Naughty Dog’s highly anticipated sequel to 2013’s The Last of Us, has been delayed indefinitely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The game, which features a post-apocalyptic setting centering around a lethal fungus, was previously slated to release on May 29 of this year. This now marks the second time The Last of Us Part II has been delayed, as it was originally supposed to launch on February 21, 2020.
Update: SIE has made the difficult decision to delay the launch of The Last of Us Part II and Marvel's Iron Man VR until further notice. Logistically, the global crisis is preventing us from providing the launch experience our players deserve.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) April 2, 2020
Sony says, “the global crisis is preventing us from providing the launch experience our players deserve.” Kotaku journalist, Jason Schreier, expanded on this, saying the game was on track for its May release, but challenges regarding printing, shipping, and selling physical copies of the game was a big reason for the delay. Some Naughty Dog employees are understandably working remotely from home, but are still crunching on the game, according to Schreier.
– TLOUII was on track for May, multiple devs say. The primary reason for the delay is the challenge of printing, shipping, and selling physical games right now
– Going remote has not stopped those still working on the game (such as QA) from crunching. Hopefully this delay helps
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) April 2, 2020
In an official statement released on Twitter, Naughty Dog explained that “we’re nearly done with development of The Last of Us Part II. We are in the midst of fixing our final bugs.” They go on to say that they’re “hoping that this won’t be a long delay and we’ll update you as soon as we have new information to share.”
A message from us about the delay of The Last of Us Part II: pic.twitter.com/aGsSRfmJ8a
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) April 2, 2020
As much as Sony has been citing logistical reasons for the delay, many will wonder if this has at least a little something to do with the fact that the game’s plot features elements that closely mirror what’s going on in the real world today. Perhaps Sony feels it would be a little tone-deaf to release a game like this in the middle of a global pandemic. Nevertheless, this surely won’t be the last time a game gets pushed back due to the COVID-19, as the pandemic continues to affect all facets of everyday life. The Last of Us Part II currently has no set release date.
Max is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, Washington. Armed with a BS in Game Design, he is mainly focused on covering Call of Duty, Legends of Runeterra, and streamer culture for Level Push.