The Last of Us Factions Multiplayer PS5 PC 1

Update: Well, well, well. Naughty Dog’s statement came as a bit of a surprise earlier today but it seems like it was pre-empting a report from Bloomberg effectively suggesting the project is in the pits. Extremely reliable reporter Jason Schreier cites four sources familiar with the release, and claims Sony has “slowed down development” on the title “as the creators reassess its quality and long-term viability”.

Schreier goes on to report that the project was scaled back during a recent evaluation, which we know also resulted in the closure of PixelOpus and the likely cancellation of Deviation Games’ first title. “A small group remains on the project while the company re-evaluates the direction,” continues Schreier’s report. “While the game hasn’t been cancelled, many of its developers have been moved to other projects.” That’d presumably include the company’s new single player title.

In the aftermath of the Bloomberg report, Giant Bomb’s Jeff Grubb weighed in on the topic: “All I've heard about this game is that it looks a lot like a studio's first live-service game, and that Naughty Dog wanted to do things its way, which maybe didn't bode well for Factions.”

The Last of Us Factions was expected to be one of Sony’s flagship live service titles, a business model the Japanese giant is so obsessed with it purchased Bungie to help expedite its efforts. But according to Schreier, the Destiny developer wasn’t impressed with what Naughty Dog was making. “Bungie raised questions about the The Last of Us multiplayer project's ability to keep players engaged for a long period of time, which led to the reassessment,” the Bloomberg article claims.

When Sony bought Bungie, it said it would utilise the studio to establish a live service centre of excellence, and it’s probably safe to assume it’s that new department which has resulted in all the current disruption occurring within PS Studios. Of course, the sceptics among you would perhaps be right to point out that PlayStation was doing great when it was focusing on single player games, so we’ll need to wait and see how it steadies the ship moving forwards.

Original Article: Well, despite being officially announced almost four years ago, it looks like The Last of Us Factions, the standalone multiplayer game from Naughty Dog, still isn’t close to release. Many pondered why the title was absent at this week’s PS Showcase, especially after series creator Neil Druckmann had promised we’d learn a lot more about the project this year. But in a statement the studio said that while it’s “proud of the job our studio has done so far […] we’ve realised what is best for the game is to give it more time”. There’s no word on when or where we’ll learn more.

The statement continues: “Our team will continue to work on the project, as well as our other games in development, including a brand new single player experience. We look forward to sharing more soon. We’re grateful to our fantastic community for your support – thank you for your passion for our games, it continues to drive us.”

And that’s it!

There had been some small sliver of hope that the title may appear during Summer Game Fest, but clearly it just isn’t ready for the primetime. All of this is obviously concerning, as outside of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Helldivers 2, all Sony had to show during its disappointing PS Showcase were a couple of CG trailers. Insiders continue to claim there’s a lot more being kept secret behind-the-scenes, but when it comes to The Last of Us Factions, we’d recommend buckling up, because it sounds like it’s still a long way away.