A story outline has already been written for a potential third game in The Last of Us series, but it’s not currently being developed.
Naughty Dog‘s creative director Neil Druckmann revealed on the Script Apart podcast (as transcribed by IGN) that an outline detailing what happens after the second game already exists, and that he’d like to see it being made into a game one day.
“I don’t know how much I want to reveal,” Druckmann explained. “[co-writer Halley Gross] did write an outline for a story – that we’re not making, but I hope one day can see the light of day – that explores a little bit what happens after this game. We’ll see.”
Druckmann also suggested that the studio is currently in the process of deciding which project to work on next.
“After we finish one of our big titles, we take a long time to explore different ideas, whether it’s going to be Last of Us III, whether it’s something new, whether there’s some old franchise we want to go back to,” he explained.
Naughty Dog is currently working on a PlayStation 5 remake of the original The Last of Us, according to a Bloomberg report.
The report claims that the project was originally in development at PlayStation’s Visual Arts Service Group before the studio was switched to a support role on the game.
The remake’s development is now reportedly being led by series creator Naughty Dog, which is said to have taken charge of the project following the completion of The Last of Us Part 2, which was released in June 2020.
A Last of Us adaptation from HBO is also in the works. Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin is co-writing and executive producing the show with Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann, who is the creative director behind the Last of Us games.
In February, Game of Thrones actors Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey were officially cast as lead characters Joel and Ellie. Pre-production kicked off in mid-March and the cameras will start rolling on July 5, with the production wrapping up on June 8, 2022.
Naughty Dog’s co-president said this month that the Last of Us studio is still struggling to fully implement a multi-project development strategy, and revealed that it currently has several games in pre-production.
The PlayStation developer first attempted to embrace a multi-project model following the completion of 2009’s Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, with designers Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann establishing a second team to create The Last of Us, alongside the group working on a third Uncharted.
However, Evan Wells told the AIAS in a new Game Maker’s Notebook podcast (transcribed by VGC) that Naughty Dog was ultimately unable to maintain two full productions, with one project inevitably gaining favour and pulling resources from the other, and it’s an issue the studio still struggles with today.