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Naughty Dog had planned to let another studio make a prequel to The Last of Us at one point, it’s been revealed.
Studio co-president Neil Druckmann appeared on a Kinda Funny spoilercast and claimed that another studio was set to adapt an element of the story that would later be repurposed for The Last of Us TV show.
This article contains spoilers for the ninth episode of The Last of Us.
The element of the HBO show Druckmann referred to was the inclusion of a fleshed-out backstory for Ellie’s mother, played in the TV show by Ashley Johnson, the original voice and motion capture artist for Ellie in the video game series.
The character, who is only briefly referred to in the game, plays a much more significant role in the series and is given a backstory that never appears in the video game series. It is this story that Druckmann seems to claim would have been adapted by a different studio.
Speaking to Kinda Funny, Druckmann said: “There was a more full version of this story that went more back in time, that was going to be made into a video game. Not by Naughty Dog, but a different game studio.
“[Kinda Funny’s] Greg Miller introduced me to that studio, we had talked to them for quite a while to do this thing and then it didn’t quite work out.”
Naughty Dog is currently working on an unannounced game, which Druckmann also spoke about during the interview.
“I know the fans really want Last of Us Part 3,” he said. “I hear about it all of the time and all I can say is that look, we’re already into our next project, so the decision has already been made.
“I can’t say what it is, but that’s the process we went through, that there was a lot of consideration of different things, and we picked the thing we were most excited for.”
The Last of Us series has sold over 37 million copies since its debut in 2013 and is currently in the spotlight thanks to the success of its HBO TV adaptation. The finale of the show’s debut season premiered on Sunday and drew a record high of 8.2 million viewers, according to HBO.
The Last of Us has already been renewed for a second season, and earlier this week co-creators Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin seemingly confirmed their intention that a third season would be coming, by suggesting that season 2 wouldn’t be able to contain the entirety of The Last of Us Part II game.