Why It’s a Bad Sign That Naughty Dog Is Already Floating The Last of Us 3

It's not a good sign at all that Naughty Dog is talking about The Last of Us 3 before Part 2 has even hit your local retailer's shelves.
Posted in: GamingOp-ed
Published:
June 9, 2020 8:00 PM UTC
  • The Last of Us Part II is one of 2020’s most anticipated current-gen games.
  • Creative director Niel Druckmann recently spoke about the possibility of a third game.
  • Deciding on a potential sequel before the game is even out is a little bit premature.

Forget The Last of Us 2 and its beefy day-one patch. The follow-up to the wildly-successful 2013 PS4 exclusive hasn’t even launched yet, and Naughty Dog Creative Director Niel Druckmann is already talking about turning the series into a trilogy.

Druckmann teased fans about a potential The Last of Us Part III in an interview with GQ:

So, yeah, the next thing could be a [The Last of Us] Part III, the next thing could be some new IP.

While this is far from a confirmation, it clearly shows that Druckmann is already mapping out the next step for the franchise.

I’d say his comments give away a bit too much, too early. But for Naughty Dog, that’s kind of par for the course.

The Last of Us 3 Is a Bit Premature

Is The Last of Us going to be the latest masterpiece to devolve into serial fodder? | Source: Pe3k/Shutterstock.com

But this raises an even bigger problem. It’s never a good sign when a developer is already talking about sequels before a game has released.

While Naughty Dog might have some good reasons to do that with The Last of Us 2, it still doesn’t fill me with confidence.

After all, there are only really two reasons people make games. Because you have a story you believe deserves to be told – and is best told using this art medium – or because you want to make a pile of cash.

When executives are already talking about sequel fodder, you have to start wondering which side of the fence Naughty Dog falls on these days.

Naughty Dog Is Losing Its Greatest Advantage

Back in the day, Naughty Dog had one huge advantage: they knew when to quit. Once they’d done everything they could with a game or series, they drew a neat line underneath it. That’s something they seem to be losing these days.

When Naughty Dog finished the Uncharted trilogy, most gamers assumed they would be done with it forever. But then they released the fourth game. Then a fifth one as a standalone expansion.

Now they’re planning The Last of Us 3 before the second one is even on your local retailer’s shelves.

What’s most concerning is the impact this premature roadmap might have had on the development of The Last of Us 2.

A story or experience can really only be satisfying – much less a masterpiece – once it has an ending.

But if Naughty Dog is already thinking about a follow-up before that title is even out, you have to wonder how satisfying that “ending” can really be.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

Josiah Wilmoth edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or Rights and Duties of the Editor or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

Last modified: June 9, 2020 7:55 PM UTC

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William Worrall @mizushinzui

William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Visit his website, contact him at william.worrall@ccn.com, see his LinkedIn profile here, or check him out on Muck Rack.