At the end of Grounded 2: Making The Last of Us Part 2, Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann made a surprise reveal that The Last of Us Part 3 could very well be on the way.
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That’s not to say that’s a lot there at the moment – he says he merely has a “concept” in mind – but did note that there’s “probably one more chapter to this story.”
“The first game had such a clean concept of like, the unconditional love a parent feels for their child,” he said. “The second one, once we landed on this idea of the pursuit of justice at any cost, justice for the ones you love, we felt like, ‘there’s a clean concept here and there’s a throughline from the first game, about love.’ If we never get to do it again, this is a fine ending point. Last bite of the apple, the story’s done.”
“The great thing about working at Naughty Dog is that we don’t have to,” he added. “It’s always like, ‘we would love another Last of Us, but if you guys feel you’re passionate about something else, we’ll support this other thing.’ Very privileged position to be in, I never take that for granted. I’ve been just thinking about it, ‘is there a concept there?’ And for now years, I haven’t been able to find that concept. But recently, that’s changed, and I don’t have a story, but I do have that concept that to me is as exciting as 1, as exciting as 2, is its own thing, and yet has this throughline for all three. So it does feel like there’s probably one more chapter to this story.”
What About the Tommy Story?
Before his comments about a potential The Last of Us Part 3, Druckmann talked about a previous interview he gave in which he mentioned they had written a story for Joel’s brother, Tommy, that takes place after the events of The Last of Us Part 2.
“The headlines across the industry were like, ‘Naughty Dog has outlined The Last of Us Part 3,’ and that’s actually wrong,” he clarified. “It was always a small story, it was never a full title. At the time, we had higher priorities at Naughty Dog to fix our pipeline, to fix work-life balance issues. Just based on where we were, I didn’t want to prioritize the story, so that story was shelved. And I still believe one day, it’ll see the light of day. I don’t know if it’ll be a game or a show, tbd.”
So, to be clear, we don’t know that Part 3 will indeed be that Tommy story, although Druckmann stressed, “I hope someday we get to make it.”
The documentary, which broadcasted on YouTube for the last couple of hours, provided an in-depth look at the making of The Last of Us Part 2. The same documentary will also be available in The Last of Us Part 2.
Grounded II comes just weeks after Naughty Dog released The Last of Us Part II: Remastered for the PS5. Aside from the base game for The Last of Us Part II, this enhanced version included additional features, including a new roguelike mode called No Return, Guitar Free Play, Lost Levels with developer commentary, graphical enhancements, DualSense integration, and the option to enable developer commentary during cutscenes for the main story.
“The Last of Us Part 2 is a masterpiece that evolves the gameplay, cinematic storytelling, and rich world design of the original in nearly every way,” we wrote in our review of The Last of Us Part 2.
Aside from the recent release of Part 2 Remastered last December, Naughty Dog announced that it had made the difficult decision to cancel The Last of Us Online, a live-service game inspired by the Factions mode in the original Last of Us game.
Beyond new game installments set in The Last of Us universe, HBO adapted the series for the small screens last year, with a second season currently in development. While we don’t have a release date, HBO is targeting a 2025 release window.
Taylor is a Reporter at IGN. Alex is a Senior News Editor at IGN.