If there was one game we’d have bet our life savings on appearing during last night’s flubbed PS Showcase, it was The Last of Us Factions. Naughty Dog hasn’t actually given us an official name for the project yet, so we’re using the moniker fans tend to recycle the most – but just to be clear, we’re referring to the online standalone spin-off that the studio has in development. This is likely to be the crown jewel of Sony’s live service strategy, and will certainly have a budget many, many times higher than the titles that were announced, like Fairgame$ and Concord – neither of which showed gameplay, by the way.
So, what’s going on? Well, all the way back in 2019 – that’s four years ago, by the way – it confirmed that unlike the original The Last of Us, sequel The Last of Us: Part II would be a single player-only game. It confirmed at the time that the mode had taken on a life of its own, and in order to focus on finishing the core campaign, it had spun off the project as a standalone release. “We are as big a fan of Factions as the rest of our community and are excited to share more when it's ready,” it said at the time.
Fast forward four years, a successful television series, and a complete PS5 and PC remake of the original game, and we’re still none the wiser. In 2020, series creator Neil Druckmann promised the multiplayer game would be “worth the wait” then in 2021 said it wouldn’t show it until “it’s ready”. In 2022 he said it was the developer’s “biggest ever effort” and shared some concept art, promising it’d announce more in 2023. We got a second piece of concept art in January, but we’re now in May, in the aftermath of a major PS Showcase, and we’ve not heard a peep – despite the frequent promise of more info soon.
Naughty Dog hasn’t really touched social media this week, apart from to promote its crossover Destiny 2 skins, and series creator Neil Druckmann hasn’t commented – despite no doubt being inundated with questions. There’s a chance the title could still re-emerge during next month’s Summer Game Fest – that’s where The Last of Us: Part I was announced last year after all – but it’d be strange for Sony to forgo its own event in favour of an independent one. Last year it didn’t host a press conference, so Druckmann’s cameo made more sense in that context.
It’s clear this is an ambitious, unrivalled undertaking – we’re not even sure how Naughty Dog’s going to be able to transition its trademark eye for detail to a title that’ll likely rely on regular content updates. But at some point, the studio’s going to have to stop fobbing us off and show us what it’s got. The developer’s approaching half a decade on this project – it’s had a hand in a critically acclaimed TV show and a blockbuster movie since it was announced – and we’re still no clearer as to when it’s coming out.
The real salt in the wound is that the clearly unfinished Fairgame$ and Concord were considered far enough along to feature during last night’s PS Showcase. Does that mean The Last of Us Factions is even further away than those two?
Maybe it’s the fact that nobody wants it and it dilutes an otherwise pretty serious IP.
I cant help but feel like Sony should have told us not to expect certain games when they originally announced the showcase.
I know a lot of people think it will be shown at SGF (and I hope so too) but i have doubts because surely this would be a game you'd want to show during you own showcase.
@Nemoy16 A lot of people want it lol
It was a brutal (non)showing yesterday. Two games that look “meh” at best, and a splattering of multiplats. FF XVI looked good, and I’m interested in Phantom Blade 0, but the lack of first party games is alarming. All these award winning studios, and this is what we get?
If Sony reveals any first party game at SGF after this, it would be criminal!
It would definitely be good to hear SOMETHING regarding where they’re at with this title, but I really hope they just take their time with it and don’t release it until it’s TRULY ready. As eager as I am for it, I can wait…..
I thought this was going to be shown too. I am amazed at what first party games Sony decided to show yesterday. Hopefully there will be a future State of Play dedicated for a massive reveal for Faction 2 or whatever it’s to be called, because missing this out and showing of FairGame$ and Concorde was criminal..
I still have hopes for a Last of Us 2 PS5 upgrade. 🙏🏻
Maybe it takes longer because they want to make it playable on PC day 1
All i can think is Sony is planning another event for the autumn to showcase the other first party games not present last night, but perhaps that is wishful thinking
Would be wierd to take the PR hit last night only to reveal it at SGF imo.
I think you overestimated just how long the game has been in development. I'd wager it didn't go into full production till the back end of 2020 once everything was done with TLOU2 and that game had a lengthy crunch period. It's also worth mentioning that they won't be reusing most of the assets from Part 2 since this is set in San Franchisco when it would have been easier to just reuse Seattle and have the scars v WLFs. I.E. Stuff takes time and Neil Druckmann said there would be an update in 2023 and we're only in May.
I think that trademark eye for detail is holding it back. Naughty dog knows they set a high standard for themselves, and when they show something it needs to be great right away or the complete internet will be all over them.
They even didn't have that. Maybe the only live service effort people like me would give a *****! Just wow! Just what the heck is happening there!?
Frankly the LAST thing they needed at that showcase was a FOURTH first party PvP multiplayer live service, 3 was already too many with nothing else to show.
Keep it bring on the 3rd game.
They've said this has developed into a AAA game with a story that is equal to their single-player games. I hope people don't think this is going to be free to play still. This is going to be a full-blown $70 release.
Like yesterday's showcase it screams not having much to show until probably well into 2024.
It feels like they front loaded their release schedule on PS5 and now we have a bit of a mid gen lull for a year to 18 months.
They may also be trying to give the new IP some elbow room to make the biggest splash they can???
I don't think I even care anymore. I played the first one online a bit but unless there's a story mode there's no way I'll buy this. At this point it just feels like the game is a waste of Naughty Dog when they could have been making something else.
Insomniac will have released 3 games before we even see a frame of gameplay from Factions (which I still think of as just the multiplayer component of TLOU2)
It would have been cool to see. I was fully expecting it, but I set my own expectations on that.
Talking out of your butt hole lol
@AdamNovice Key point there - He said there would be an update in 2023.
Did they ever suggest a release year? In my mind it's 2023 but I might be guilty of an assumption there.
As there is still some buzz from the TV series you would have thought it was a no brainer to show something about it to keep the buzz going on both game and tv show.
@johncalmc Druckmann confirmed it has a story on the level of the single player games
Like I said on twitter I think Sony wants Tv/Movie content to coincide with game releases. The rumored HZD remake will obviously release close the Netflix show and so on. But still they could have done a quick Teaser trailer at least!
@Jayslow Insomniac also a second studio and clearly a different work ethic.
As it was, around 30 games were covered in some capacity yesterday. I was surprised by how many. Factions 2 definitely needs to be shown in a setting where it has time to hog the spotlight, without all that other fluff. It’s not fair to the smaller games nor to Factions to squeeze it into that style of showcase.
Most of us would have rather had the Spider-Man 2 trailer and a Factions reveal and cut out all the other, but many of those games shown will release sooner and didn’t need the in-depth treatment that Factions will need when it’s exhibited.
But I agree — the length of silence about it is getting concerning.
@Jayslow Insomniac is clearly Sony's premier studio right now imo. The consistency and quality of their output is insane
This one hurt really bad. I was looking forward all day to finally seeing this game yesterday. A huge disappointment. I was completely baffled at its absence.
Instead we got a friggin Gran Turismo movie trailer!☹️
@Shepherd_Tallon Not at all, so many including Sammy just assumed it was coming out this year but I never bought into that just from the way ND were talking.
My prediction was it getting a beta this year but a full release in 2024.
At the end of the day Sony don't treat their showcases as the be all and end all of their announcements, wouldn't surprise me if there saving stuff for Summer game fest and the game awards.
@Nemoy16 My name isn't nobody.
@Nemoy16 Tons of people are pumped for Factions
@Nemoy16 I want it!
@AdamNovice They have said multiple times there'll be more info in 2023, though. Obviously they still have a little over six months to go... But...
Here’s hoping that Summer Games Fest has everything that the showcase was lacking.
@AdamNovice TBH I think a game like this gets it's own state of play anyway. Or if not, it doesn't share the spotlight with too many other titles.
@Nemoy16 You have no idea
Let's be real here this is a thing in these articles. People expect something without the developer making any announcements and then act like it was announced.
It's a reason I don't really like to speculate because you know it's always going to disappoint. If I look at the stream yesterday it was a good one only people get way to invested and get unreal expectations.
It's like the Nintendo streams where Nintendo themselves say don't expect to much and people still get mad. It's not really strange that Sony stays so quiet because people tend to bend words and make it look bad.
Personally, Factions 2 is the one I wanted in the showcase. It's so weird that they announced it and even did a second round on a stage talking about it, and then it goes missing when its release is supposedly approaching within this fiscal year.
Gamers will complain about crunch then when complain when the games take too long. Complain when games are shown too early then complain you don't see enough. We got Spiderman 2 in the fall ff16 next month.
@get2sammyb But what Sammy? Like you say there's six months of the year left and plenty of chances to show it off.
I would have loved to have seen it last night but if it isn't ready then the last thing we should be demanding is ND to crunch to show off a slice of the game.
You are not wrong. It took more time than I expected.
@thechetearly it's already 60fps 1440p?
They're probably reworking it into another Horizon themed game.
I wanna see Twisted Metal!
@Flaming_Kaiser Need to pin this comment to the front of the internet.
That's the last word on the matter for me.
Putting the trailers on a loop on my phone while I work and letting myself get giddy about Dragon's Dogma and Phantom Blade and Granblue Fantasy...
@STOBO I honestly don’t mind crunch at all. I would work 24/7 on a project I was passionate about as long as I was getting paid for it. I know not everyone can do that but if it’s not expected of everyone, I don’t see a problem with crunch. Having everyone limited to working their contracted hours and not a minute more is annoying tbh.
@Oh_fiddlesticks I don’t think it going to show up at SGF either. I wasn’t expecting it at the PlayStation showcase either. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the franchise come June, and both Naughty Dog and Last of Us have out grown PlayStation. They will probably be hosting their own events to mark the 10th anniversary, show off faction, drop information on season 2 of the show, and hopefully announce a PC port of Part 2 🤞
I'm honestly at a loss for words since last night. Expectations were always in check but I had no idea I was gonna end up so disappointed. As they don't ever do two big showcases in a single year, the only options left for PS reveals this year that I can think of is a PS State of Play, Summer Game Fest and The Game Awards 2023. I know huge triple A games have been taking even longer to make these days more than ever before but last nights PS 1st party reveals felt like a barren wasteland. At least there's the epic Spidey 2 to look forward to if no huge delays God forbid
I'm over it. I played a lot of factions on PS3 but I have no desire to return to it. I think Naughty Dog has become the new Rockstar. Used to provide numerous incredible games during each generation and now we'll be lucky to see one from them that's only on the PS5 (not cross gen).
I definitely think it's a Summer Game Fest thing given the huge presence TLoU has had at past Geoff Keighley events like Summer Game Fest 2022 and Game Awards 2020. I'd guess it would be a case of debut trailer or gameplay perhaps followed by the announcement of a standalone TLoU event on June 14th (the 10th anniversary of the PS3 game).
The lack of this and Pragmata (and although I don’t care about it, Twisted Metal) was honestly baffling in the showcase. The showcase actually managed to suck away momentum from the Sony brand, in my opinion, and made me feel that 2024 is going to be a very barren year for Sony exclusive gaming for me.
@somnambulance Isn’t Pragmata a capcom game? We didn’t need 3 capcom games shown in one showcase.
@somnambulance But they already announced Tsushima 2, Wolverine etc. Those games could be coming out 2024
Its clearly not ready. Maybe the Part 1 remake maybe slowed down progress a bit as it wasn't the "simple" port people made it out to be.
They've completely missed the momentum of the hit tv show, a completely broken PC port... and nothing else
Naught Dog is all about detail. You can’t rush perfection. I’d also have to agree with @themightyant, there was enough PvP to last the next decade, Factions & Twisted Metal can take their time.
If factions was shown off yesterday I’m sure everyone today would be complaining that it’s a games as a service
Naughty dog is still focusing on the PC version of the last of us. Maybe that's why they can't show the multiplayer yet.
1) I don't understand why they were given the task of bringing the last of us on PC instead of Nixxes.
2) They launched the last of us in a disastrous state on PC and now they're fixing the so many issues as if they're still developing the game...
Who ever chose them to develop the last of on PC is probably the responsible behind factions not being shown yet.
To be honest, I thought this would be one of the big Live Service games they would show as its been 'rumoured' to release 'soon' after LoU2 released. It was said to have gotten too 'big' to include at Launch and was expected in 21, 22 and even 23. I think I remember people expecting Factions and/or a stealth 'beta' drop before 2023 started.
As such, it was a surprise not to see it, but they made up for it with plenty of other 'live service' games that I won't buy either...
@AverageGamer @Heavy_Artilery we didn’t need another SF6 trailer. I agree. We needed to see a game that was announced at the original showcase that was already delayed to this year with no news since that delay.
Tsushima 2 has not been officially announced, though we know it’s in production. I would have loved a trailer for that, but I don’t know if I’d expect it next year. For me, the fact that Spider-Man is the only big exclusive after FF16 is bad news. I have no interest in super hero titles, so Wolverine in 2024 does nothing for me either. I’ve bought every other PS5 first party title, so I’m interested in just about everything outside super heroes. Lol
Are people forgetting sony are at summer games fest? Didn't TLOU factions get shown at the last one?
There's a very high chance this years show will either have a trailer for Factions or Death Stranding 2
Yeah that was weird it wasnt there.im pretty sure its coming.word up son
@Nemoy16 Thanks for speaking for us!
One could ask what the hell is going on with most of Sony's other studios too. Very little was revealed at that showcase. I'm starting to fear some projects are in trouble (development hell) or have been scrapped altogether.
@Nemoy16 Tbh it's the only multiplayer that I want to play.
@somnambulance TBH i expect Pragmata to become another deep down. Capcom just wanna do a “me too” with fancy graphical games announcement at the start of the generation before falling back to same old tried IPs.
Nah see I think that this Factions thing will show up at SGF. Not only is Sony a partner meaning some sort of Sony IP will be there. But I also get the vibes considering last years SGF that Neil Druckmann is like the Hideo Kojima #2 for Geoff. Like it wouldn’t shock me if he struck a deal with them based off of last years reveal. Besides if it doesn’t show up there it looks kinda bad on last years SGF because they were really playing up factions there.
@Nemoy16 well that’s not true is it. Just because YOU may not want it doesn’t mean no one else does. I loved the original factions and have high hopes for this.
Perhaps we should prepare for the idea that Naughty Dog aren't as competent as we all thought. After all, most of the stories regarding crunch and dubious working conditions at Sony seem to originate from their studio.
I really do appreciate that games are exceptionally hard to make, hard to get right, and are even more huge and unwieldy these days, making development a long, rocky road, but Hot DAMN waiting for them to release can be friggin' excruciating
Gotta love how the trailers we got were so obtuse that I didn't even realise concord was a PVP-only game until now... : (
I'd picked up on Fairgames and Marathon being multiplayer only but somehow missed that one was too.
So few release dates as well, not even a specific one for Spiderman.
@ItsBritneyB_tch I think the problem is that it is expected. Which is why someone just electing to work late isn't called crunch.
@AverageGamer Jeez, I hope not! We need new interesting IPs and I largely trust Capcom to deliver
@Nemoy16 Can't wait.
No official name of the multiplayer game and no release date for Spiderman 2. Sony should have made it a state of play and waited until later in the year for a true showcase of first-party titles.
Better question is what the hell is going on with naughty Dog. Studios been kind of down hill since Uncharted 4. I know U4 rated good and got tons of praise. Overall it wsan't as polished as past entries in the series. The story line clearly shifted course from its original teaser trailer and changed the nature of many of its characters to a plot line that kind of fell flat outside of Ellie and Nates relationship. I'm greatful for what it did and changing the pacing in a few areas to be something different than its 3 predecessors, but the content between kind of fell short a little. There was a lot of bad collision detection, a lot of lost features that worked great in the last 3 games like grenade toss back (why did this go away), and more. Then we got TLoU2 which was more interested in trying something everyone knew wouldn't work, that was poorly executed, and pissed off half its fan base in the process. Writing was poor as well, turning me off to the final product and not even finishing the game. Then you have this multiplayer mode floundering for years.
Then there is the fact that ND for years managed multiple games a console generation. We got 4 jak games on PS2, 4 Crash games if memory serves on PS1, 3 Uncharted + 1 out of no where game called The Last of Us on PS3, and then 2 games on PS4. What the hell happened on PS4? We're almost to the third year of PS5 and we have yet to see a new project out of ND. Just a remake of a PS3 game, talk about a multiplayer mode that is what 4 or 5 years late to the party and most people have forgotten about?
I think its time to come out and say it. Has Naughty Dog lost its mojo? Have they burned themselves out like Bioware? Has the leadership gone sour? What the hell is going on over there? Don't give me this garbage that it takes longer to release a game, when insomniac has released a game every year the PS5 has been out. Spiderman Miles Moralis, Ratchet and Clank, Spider Man 2 later this year. With the technology changing very little and the tools getting better, the detla should be improving unless ND has significant tech debt that is finally catching up to them or the creative process has been hindered in some way. Banking on The Last of Us is not something they should be doing, especially givne how the first game was a damn 11th hour miracle.
I wish they were using this time and resources for a single player game.
@AdamNovice we have evidence at 2018 that they wanted to release the multiplayer with the single player game....what changed in the processes nobody knows, i suspect a total reboot and a release as stand alone ip. But definitely the game didn't started at 2020 but way back, maybe 2020 was the reboot plan.
@AdamNovice But Naughty Dog has approx 50% more employees—approx 750 to Insomniac’s 500 and change.
That being said, ND also has several projects going on, currently—2, possibly even 3.
Love The Last Of Us... both parts.
But really couldn't care less about Factions. Tried the online briefly in the original, but couldn't be bothered sticking it out for the trophies for the Platinum.
I'm much more interested in whatever other project they're working on at ND.
I still have zero interest in Factions. Only care for The Last of Us 2 PS5 remake/remaster, Last of Us 3, and the Mystery New IP.
Shouldn't have bothered
It just occurred to me that this is going to be one of those live service, packed to the brim with microtransactions things, isn't it?
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