Since release, The Last of Us Part II has broken sales records to the tune of 4 million copies sold in a single week, but is it too early to consider a follow-up game? The sequel was released about seven years after the first, so if developer Naughty Dog makes another entry in the series, will it take just as long?
Given the sales number, a third Last of Us seems like a no-brainer, but just how realistic is it to expect another game? Here's everything we do know about a potential The Last of Us Part III.
When is the Last of Us 3 release date?
Hold your infected horses, The Last of Us Part III has yet to be announced.
Nothing official has been said, but Game Director Neil Druckmann has commented to IndieWire on the matter.
"It felt like to justify making a Part II we had to do something not that fans would just be comfortable with, but do something that would match the emotional core we found in the first game," Druckmann said. "And without that, there’d be no reason to do a Part III." Thus far, the team seemingly hasn't come up with any core ideas that might deem a third entry necessary. But Druckmann isn't ruling it out just yet:
"We’d really have to figure out how to create a new experience that matches the emotional impact of these stories and I don’t know what that is. Currently."
These are similar to the comments Druckmann made in 2014 following the release of Last of Us: Left Behind. He stated in February 2014 that the chance a sequel would happen was "50/50." Back then, he claimed he needed to develop a story that would justify a sequel.
In July 2014, Druckmann hosted One Night Live, a staged Last of Us performance that featured a secret epilogue. Druckmann referred to this epilogue as a "Goodbye to Joel and Ellie." We also know that Last of Us 2 began production that same year.
Either Druckmann hadn't fleshed out Joel and Ellie's inclusion in the Last of Us 2 or he was sworn to secrecy. Assuming the second could be true, a sequel could currently be planned but the company is holding off on an announcement until they pin down a more concrete story.
There was a seven-year wait between parts one and two, so expect something similar if there's a follow-up game.
What would the story be in The Last of Us 3?
According to Druckmann, Last of Us stories need to be based around love. It's possible we could follow love using some new lenses, perhaps Yara and Lev, the two Seraphites from Last of Us 2. They would focus on sibling love, which has yet to be fully explored in either game.
Is there going to be Last of Us 2 story DLC?
Left Behind tied up some narrative ends for the first Last of Us, could a DLC do the same for the sequel? According to Druckmann, on the Kinda Funny Gamescast, there are currently no plans for a story DLC for Last of Us 2. This can be taken as confirmation that a DLC is unlikely for the sequel. Left Behind began production immediately after the original game released.
However, you can look forward to some spin on the popular factions multiplayer mode from the first game down the line. While multiplayer was originally intended to be included within Last of Us 2, that idea was nixed in September 2019, when the multiplayer team's ambition grew greater than what the game could allow. Last of Us 2 is a 100GB game, so that was likely the right call. Naughty Dog has promised that we'll see the fruits of the multiplayer team's labor down the line, likely as an add-on or standalone title.
Is there a trailer for Last of Us 3?
No, the game has yet to be officially announced, so there's no such thing available.
What else is down the line for The Last of Us?
There's currently a The Last of Us HBO series in production from Chernobyl creator, Craig Mazin and Druckmann himself. Other than that, nothing has been announced yet. It's possible that Druckmann will become more involved with TV following the HBO series. Jonothan Entwhistle, creator of End of the F***ing World suggested he'd like to work with Druckmann on something. If this will amount to anything has yet to be seen.
Last of Us 2 is currently available for PS4.