Major PS5 Exclusive “Is Dead,” Claims Insider

A major PS5 exclusive “is dead,” or, in other words, is cancelled, according to one insider. It’s not often PlayStation exclusives are cancelled once they are announced, let alone one of a high profile. It’s common for PlayStation to bin games they haven’t announced yet — this happens all over the industry — but once PlayStation announces a game it rarely cancels said game, especially if it’s one of its blockbuster releases. This is why many are surprised to hear that The Last of Us multiplayer game is apparently “dead.”

A Last of Us standalone multiplayer game was formally announced to be in the works on June 9, 2022. However, we knew it was in the works long before it was first shown. Fast-forward to May 26, four months ago, and Naughty Dog confirmed the project was still in the works but that it would need more time.

“We know many of you have been looking forward to hearing more about our The Last of Us multiplayer game,” read the statement. “We’re incredibly proud of the job our studio has done thus far, but as development has continued, we’ve realized what is best for the game is to give it more time.”

Since then, there has been no update, which has left PlayStation fans under the impression it’s still in the works, but then this week Anders Howard, the Principal Monetization Designer at Naughty Dog working on the game left the studio after only being there for eleven months. This was a huge red flag and it’s since been followed by a well-known insider and leaker commenting on the news saying “it’s dead.” More specifically, this claim has been made by ViewerAnon, a source that has proven reliable in the past.

For now, take this information with a grain of salt. It’s not entirely clear how definitive this statement is versus speculative, and it’s not clear if this means the game has been completely canned or put on ice. Meanwhile, so far, neither PlayStation nor Naughty Dog have commented on Anders Howard news or this follow-up from ViewerAnon. If this changes, we will be sure to update the story accordingly.

For what it’s worth, we largely understand Naughty Dog to be a one-team studio that sometimes stretches to a 1.5-team studio. And if The Last of Us 3 has begun development, which rumors, leaks, and more suggest, then it would make sense this mutliplayer project was, at the very least, put on ice as it would require many more resources than the current iteration of Naughty Dog could provide if it’s also working on The Last of Us 3.