The Last of Us: Part II has been delayed due to logistical reasons, leaving some fans frustrated about the postponement. The issue is that coronavirus has plunged the world into uncertainty, and seemingly trivial tasks such as manufacturing, marketing, and distribution have now become immensely complicated. As a result, it’s forced Naughty Dog to sit on the game.
“We know we have a great game, but we just have to wait a little longer to get it out to fans,” said director Neil Druckmann on the latest PlayStation Blogcast podcast. “I know fans are disappointed, but we’re just as disappointed if not more so.”
According to Druckmann, the game is effectively finished. “We’re at the one-yard line,” he continued. “There are still some bugs that we’re finding, and we want to polish it as much as we can. The game is there, that’s the frustrating part. We just have to sit on it for a little bit and figure out the best way to get it to our fans.”
Asked whether a digital-only release is feasible, the director explained that this may not be fair on all fans around the globe. “This is a worldwide game that every country is waiting for and we want to make sure we’re fair. If we only get it to a small fraction of people, what does that mean for people who don’t get it? We’re looking at all sorts of options and considering what’s the best way to get it to all our fans as soon as possible. But that’s going to take time.”
Druckmann continued that releasing some kind of demo may put unnecessary strain on its employees, as these kinds of things need to be built from the ground up in order to ensure they operate as intended in non-controlled environments. “It’s a massive amount of work that we don’t want to put our team through, and we’d rather put our focus on finishing the game,” he said.
There has been some criticism of Naughty Dog’s infamous crunch culture, but Druckmann paints a very different picture. “There’s a lot going on in the world right now, so [we told staff to] take time to take care of yourself and your family. We even said: if we miss our date, we miss our date – you come first. And even now as we’re wrapping up the game, we keep telling people: if you need a moment, if you need to take a day or two off, do whatever you’ve got to do.”